GARDEN GROVE : Man Critically Hurt in Shooting at Lot

A man was shot and seriously wounded Sunday in a crowded Target store parking lot where he was involved in a fight with two assailants, police said.

The man, who had not been identified Sunday evening, underwent surgery at UCI Medical Center in Orange for a gunshot wound in his chest and was in critical condition, police said.

The attackers are still at large, Garden Grove Police Sgt. Dale Farley said.

The victim had been standing beside his car in Target's parking lot on Brookhurst Street when he got in a fight with two other men, said Sgt. Michael Walker. During the brawl, which took place about 2:30 p.m., one man shot him once in the chest, Walker said.

Walker said that the victim then got into his car and started to drive toward the parking lot exit. After driving about half a block, he lost control of the vehicle, ran into a curb and slammed into a three-foot-high cinder-block wall, which separates the lot from a sidewalk on Brookhurst Street.

The driver was transported by helicopter to UCI Medical Center.

One 18-year-old witness, who declined to be identified, fearing reprisals from area gangs, said he was in the lot when he heard the shot. He said he saw a slender, long-haired man running away behind Target's lawn and garden department.

Another 18-year-old witness, who gave his name only as "Chuy," said that he heard one shot and saw the man running but at first "didn't think anything of it."

"It sounded like (the victim) ran over something," Chuy said.

He said he started walking into the store because no one in the lot was in any panic. "No one was screaming," he said. "No one was saying 'Someone's been shot.' "

But then he saw that the victim's car had slammed into the wall.

Police are so far unsure whether the incident was gang-related, Farley said.

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