Three men who had just finished playing soccer on a school field in a Pacoima area frequented by gang members were wounded in a drive-by shooting, Los Angeles police said this morning.
Although the three Pacoima men are not gang members, their assailants apparently believed that they were, Detective Jay St. John said. At about 9 p.m. Thursday, two or three men in a red car drove by the victims at the corner of Pierce Street and Glenoaks Boulevard, shouted a gang challenge and then opened fire, St. John said.
Injured were Guillermo Martinez, 21, who was struck in the chest; Carlos Lopez, 27, who was wounded in the face, and Benigno Gonzalez, 25, who was struck in the legs. Martinez and Lopez were taken to Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, where Martinez was in serious condition and Lopez was treated and released. Gonzalez was taken to Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, where he was treated and released.
No arrests were made. St. John said the victims had been playing soccer at Maclay Junior High School, located at the same corner, until dark. They then walked across the street to a service station to use a pay phone when the shooting occurred.
St. John said the corner area is a place where gang members often meet or pass through while traveling between housing projects in the area.