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3 Men Killed in Tustin Auto Parts Store : Homicide: The victims were bound and shot execution style. The shop’s manager discovered the bodies after opening the store this morning.

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

The bodies of three young men, each bound and shot execution style, were found this morning in the back room of an automotive store in a busy commercial district, police said.

There was no sign of robbery or forced entry at the Super Shops store at Tustin Avenue and 1st Street near the border of Santa Ana, said Tustin Police Lt. Houston Williams.

The bodies were found about 9 a.m. by an unidentified day manager who was first to arrive at the store this morning. He found them in a storage area at the rear of the store, located near the junction of the Costa Mesa Freeway and 4th Street, police said.

Police said the men were found with their hands bound in front of them and appeared to have been shot at close range in the head with a handgun. Authorities would not say how many shots were fired.

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Some or all of the three victims, ranging in age from their late teens to early 20s, may have been employees at the store, police said. Authorities declined to identify the victims this morning pending notification of relatives.

Tustin police investigators, assisted by Santa Ana police, searched for a motive for the murders.

Employees at a neighboring business had not seen or heard anything unusual, leading investigators to believe that the shootings occurred after regular business hours.

Police said the owner of the store is prepared to announce a reward for information leading to any arrests in the case.

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According to a store official, there was a similar shooting about a year or so ago at a Super Shops store in Long Beach, police said.

Super Shops is a Southern California chain of auto parts store franchises that specialize in engine parts and parts for racing cars.


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