Security Guard Killed, 2 Wounded in Shootout at Swap Meet
Gunfire that erupted Saturday afternoon at a crowded South-Central Los Angeles swap meet sent shoppers ducking for cover and left a 24-year-old security guard dead, his assailant shot in the leg and a bystander slightly wounded.
The shooting occurred just after 3 p.m. at Alameda Swap Meet in the 4500 block of South Alameda Street, when the uniformed security guard, whose name was not released, attempted to eject three suspected gang members who had been causing a disturbance at the vast, half-block-square shopping facility.
As they left the swap meet through a gate on 45th Street, one of the alleged gang members pulled a gun and began shooting, LAPD Sgt. William Ward said. The security guard, who witnesses said was hit in the chest, drew his handgun and fired back, hitting the man in the leg. Another bullet slightly wounded a bystander in the leg.
The security guard, who was employed by a Bellflower company called SePac Security and had worked at the swap meet for about a year, collapsed on the sidewalk and was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded assailant tried to flee, police said, but other security guards and some swap meet patrons chased him and held him for police. The other two suspected gang members fled.
Most witnesses said either three or four shots were fired.
“We heard the shots and we ducked,” said Miguel Reyes, 15, who works at a food stand in an open-air portion of the swap meet near where the shooting occurred. “Everybody was trying to get away.”
The swap meet did not close after the shooting, witnesses said. Three hours afterward, the security guard’s body still lay on the sidewalk, covered by a white sheet, while police conducted their investigation. Inside, shoppers went about their business, many unaware of what had happened outside.
The suspected assailant and the wounded bystander were taken to County-USC Medical Center for treatment, police said. Their names were not released.
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