In a strange discovery Sunday morning, California Highway Patrol officers who were investigating what they thought was a wild car crash instead found a homicide.
About 8:15 a.m., officers were called to the Ventura Freeway just east of Van Nuys Boulevard, where a sedan had crashed into the sound wall and flipped several times.
When officers looked in the car, they found a man who had been shot in the head.
“It’s very odd,” said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Cecil Manresa. “Especially at that time and on a Sunday morning.”
Traffic officers then closed the eastbound freeway lanes while homicide investigators were called in.
The crash, near the intersection of the 101 and 405 freeways, slowed traffic for miles as drivers were directed to other routes. The 101 reopened shortly after 2 p.m.
When paramedics arrived, the man, who had not been identified but was between 25 and 30 years old, was in critical condition. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died, Manresa said.
Elsewhere, another man was shot in his car in Long Beach on Saturday night.
Officer Jackie Bezart of the Long Beach Police Department said a man driving on the northbound 710 Freeway near the Del Amo Boulevard exit was shot by someone in another car about 9:30 p.m.
The man was shot in the arm and leg but managed to continue driving and get help, Bezart said. The injuries were not life-threatening, officials said.
Bezart said investigators were unsure if the shooting was incited by road rage but did not suspect that it was gang-related.