Double shooting leaves 2 dead in Compton during illegal street takeover

Friends leave flowers and candles at a memorial in Compton.
Friends leave flowers and candles at a parking lot in Compton near North Bullis Road on Monday, one day after two men were shot and killed in a car.
(Nathan Solis / Los Angeles Times)

Two men sitting in a parked car were shot and killed during an illegal street takeover in Compton over the weekend, authorities said.

The shooting was reported just before 1 a.m. Sunday near North Bullis Road and East Pine Street, officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

The men, who were described only as being in their 20s, were both shot in the upper body while sitting in a parked car, and investigators think the killings are related to an illegal street takeover at a nearby intersection where drivers regularly perform dangerous car stunts.


By Monday morning, a small memorial had been erected in a nearby parking lot, where a collection of candles formed the letters J and J. Friends at the memorial identified the dead men as Javier “Javi” Menchaca, 19, and Juanito Orozco, 21.

As activity continues to surge, cities are scrambling for new tools to curtail illegal racing and sideshows.

Robert Hernandez, 25, said Menchaca was a kind person who did not have any gang affiliation and attended Paramount High School, just east of Compton. Menchaca liked to watch the street takeovers from a distance, but he never participated in the dangerous stunts, Hernandez said.

“He was in his mom’s Kia when they shot him. All he liked to do was mind his own business,” Hernandez said. “Who goes and shoots someone like that? None of this makes sense.”

Yahaira Reyes, 18, said she last saw Menchaca on Friday night and he texted her early Sunday morning, about 15 minutes before the shooting. He said he was on his way to her house.

“Javi was going to come to my birthday party. And then I didn’t hear from him and thought he was held up with something else,” Reyes said in front of the memorial near where her friend was shot and killed. “He was a good, loving person. Anything you could ask of him and he would be there for you.”

Videos from the illegal takeover and graphic images from the shooting aftermath were shared on Instagram.

Heriberto Villanueva, 25, spoke to Menchaca daily, and the two texted the day before the shooting. He brought a box of Menchaca’s favorite hard seltzer and set it down next to religious candles and balloons at the Compton intersection.

“I taught him how to drive,” Villanueva said. “I kicked it with him every day, and the only day I wasn’t with him this f—ing happens.”

There have been no arrests in the shootings, and sheriff’s investigators did not immediately respond to requests for comment.