Teen driver found shot to death after vehicle crashes in East L.A.

Officials study an SUV with front-end damage in a street.
An investigation is underway after a man was found shot to death Monday in a crashed vehicle in East L.A. The crash was reported just before 3 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Hicks Avenue.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

What appeared to be a traffic collision in East Los Angeles early Monday is now being investigated as a homicide after it was discovered the driver had been shot, officials said.

The California Highway Patrol responded to a report of a one-car crash involving a Chevrolet pickup truck just before 3 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Hicks Avenue.

Officers found a man behind the wheel unresponsive and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso. Paramedics who arrived afterward pronounced the man, whom authorities have not yet identified but said was 19, dead at the scene.


Once it became clear the crash involved a shooting, CHP relinquished the case to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, CHP Officer Ramberto Salcido said.

The Sheriff’s Department is now investigating the shooting death, said Deputy Michelle Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the department.

The events leading up to the shooting are still unknown. However, “it happens many, many times where somebody is shot, and they keep driving,” Deputy Trina Schrader said. “That happens all the time, and then they crash.”

Authorities have not identified any suspects in the shooting, Sanchez said. Detectives are searching for witnesses and canvassing the area for possible video surveillance cameras.

OnScene.TV contributed to this report.