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3 Killed in Gangland Attack During Lynwood Ride

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Even by Los Angeles-area gangland standards, the shooting at California and Sanborn avenues Sunday morning was a bloody piece of work--a minute’s worth of gunplay in Lynwood that turned a car ride into a triple murder.

Victor Perez, 19, of Compton and two others died after gunmen pelted their late-model Oldsmobile with bullets at 1:20 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. A fourth occupant of the car escaped harm by ducking in the rear seat.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide investigators have not released the name of the 17-year-old survivor, a Lynwood resident, and were trying to confirm the identities of the other victims.

When the shooting started, Perez was driving at the tail end of a four-car caravan en route to a nearby party, investigators said in a report based on eyewitness accounts. As Perez negotiated a three-point turn, two other vehicles approached--a white Toyota pickup and a white, two-door Datsun.

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Someone in the pickup yelled, “Where you from?” a common gang challenge, detectives said. Before anyone responded, another person in the pickup opened fire with a shotgun. Another man, armed with a handgun, bolted from the Datsun and riddled the victims’ car with bullets.

The assailants raced away as the sleeping neighborhood awoke to the horror outside their doorsteps.

To Johnny Morris, 17, who arrived at the scene before deputies, it appeared that the victims never had a chance.

“Both doors were shut,” he said. “It looks like they were ducking, trying not to get hit.”

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Street noise at the busy intersection is not unusual. That’s why Tomas Padilla, who rents a house nearby, wondered if the early morning cacophony had been a traffic accident.

Not only did he find the carnage on the street, but also two bullet holes in an outside wall of his house and seven more in a living room window--just above the top of the couch where he, his wife and 16-year-old daughter usually sit to watch television.


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