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Los Angeles : Suspects Sought in Slayings

Authorities this week sought suspects in two unrelated fatal shootings in northeast Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police Detective Ron Whitt said Nicole Johnston, 19, was shot once in the head with a handgun early last Thursday ( in her Highland Park neighborhood. Neighbors near Eunice Avenue and Lewis Street told officers they heard a gunshot, then saw Johnston lying in the street.

Witnesses said they saw a person running from the body toward a black vehicle, which sped away, Whitt said.

A motive for the shooting was not immediately determined.

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The second slaying occurred early Sunday morning, when 28-year-old Christopher Pontikes of Duarte was shot outside a house in the 2600 block of Thorpe Avenue in Cypress Park, Whitt said.

Pontikes was at a party attended by gang members when members of a rival gang arrived and gunfire erupted, the detective said.

Friends took Pontikes, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, to County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.


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