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Man Killed; He Wouldn’t Give Up Car

Times Staff Writer

Suspected gang members shot and killed a man for failing to give them his car while stopped at a red light in South-Central Los Angeles. In another attack prompted by an attempted theft early Thursday, a 19-year-old was chased and stabbed near Huntington Park by three men demanding his football jacket.

Meanwhile, a third incident of violence left a 4-year-old girl hospitalized Thursday with a gunshot wound suffered during a relative’s argument with another woman over a mutual boyfriend.

Vincent Rogers, 23, of Los Angeles died early Thursday after being shot around midnight, police said. They said two men approached Rogers’ Cadillac and demanded the car as it idled at a traffic signal at Broadway Street and Florence Avenue.

Rogers was shot after he refused to turn over the car, said Detective Don Watson. The assailants are reported to be local gang members, he said.

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A woman riding with Rogers took the wheel of the car and drove several blocks to a police station. Rogers was taken to Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, where he died after surgery.

Shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday, three young men believed to be gang members approached 19-year-old Felix Pena as he was walking home to Huntington Park on Clara Street.

They asked Pena where he was from, a gang greeting, police said. Pena replied “Nowhere,” and the youths demanded his Dallas Cowboys football jacket.

Police said such jackets are among the type of athletic wear that is popular with gang members.

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Pena fled and was chased by the men, who caught him and stabbed him in the face, wrist and abdomen. Pena stumbled about half a block to a telephone and dialed 911.

Pena underwent surgery at County-USC Medical Center Thursday morning and was listed as serious but improving, a hospital official said.

“We’ve had numerous thefts of jackets” in the last two months, Bell Cudahy Police Detective George Richards said, but this was the first violent incident in the Bell area.

“Usually they give them up,” Richards said. “That stuff can all be replaced. . . . I’d give them my jacket, pants, shirt--whatever they wanted.”

Earlier Wednesday, a 4-year-old girl at the Jordan Downs housing project was shot in the neck about noon.

The shot was fired after the girl’s 16-year-old relative and friends threw rocks and bottles at a car containing a woman who was vying for the attention of a man and considered the girl’s relative her rival, said Detective Jim Dieli.

The girl was listed in stable condition at Martin Luther King. The driver of the car, a 22-year-old woman, was arrested. The shooter is still being sought and police say they have contacted her family.


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