San Fernando Man Killed, 6 Hurt in Separate Shootings


One man was killed and six others wounded in separate shootings that erupted about one hour apart early Saturday in the San Fernando Valley, authorities said.

Michael Lucero, 25, of San Fernando was killed when he was caught in the cross-fire of two men who argued briefly before resorting to guns, said Los Angeles Police Detective Carl Whiting.

Lucero had been standing with a group of people near the intersection of Rinaldi Street and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Mission Hills about 1:40 a.m. when they were approached by a man who "had a problem" with one person in the group, Whiting said.

Responding to an anonymous call of shots fired, police found the victim lying face down in the street in the 4700 block of Rinaldi Street, Whiting said. Lucero, who had been shot once in the chest, was taken to Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills where he was pronounced dead. A second bystander was wounded in the incident, police said.

One suspect in the shooting, Frank Perez, 23, came into the same hospital as Lucero for treatment of a gunshot wound, Whiting said. Police arrested him there about 5 a.m.

Perez was booked on suspicion of murder at the Los Angeles County Jail, authorities said. Police are still searching for a second suspect, Whiting said.

Some members of the group involved in the shooting are believed to be gang members, but there is no indication that a gang-related rivalry led to the shooting, Whiting said.

About one hour earlier, three teen-agers were arrested in connection with a shooting that left four wounded at a gas station in the 6400 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park.

Javier Sanchez, 18, of Canoga Park and two juveniles were arrested by an off-duty police officer who had followed their car. They were booked on suspicion of attempted murder at the Los Angeles Police Department's West Valley Division Station.

Both victims and suspects were identified as gang members and the attack was unprovoked, Detective Brad Roberts said. The victims had come from a party and were filling their car with gas before driving home, he said.

"The suspects just drove in, jumped out and started indiscriminately firing at them,"

Roberts said. "It was just your run-of-the-mill gang shooting."

All three suspects are known members of a Canoga Park street gang, he said.

Police said the victims, whose identities are being withheld due to possible gang retaliation, left the scene in two cars.

Three of the victims were treated for gunshot wounds at Kaiser Hospital in Woodland Hills. Two of them, ages 19 and 22, were hospitalized. The fourth victim, age 15, was taken to Humana Hospital in West Hills, where he was treated for a minor gunshot wound and released.

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