Shooting leaves 1 injured

Deepa Bharath

COSTA MESA -- A 20-year-old man was shot in the neck Saturday night

after three men barged into his apartment, officials said.

Police are not releasing the name of the victim "because he fears for

his safety" and also because of an ongoing investigation, said Costa Mesa

Police Lt. Dale Birney.

The man was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana on Saturday,

but his injuries are not considered to be life threatening, Birney added.

The victim was in his apartment in the 700 block of Scott Place about

9:15 p.m. Saturday with two roommates and three other people, when three

men entered the apartment by unknown means, Birney said.

One was said to have had a handgun, he said.

"The victim was then taken to an upstairs bedroom by one of the

suspects while everyone else remained downstairs," Birney said.

After several minutes, the people downstairs heard a gunshot from the

bedroom. Shortly afterward, the assailant bolted downstairs and the three

intruders fled out of the apartment, Birney said.

The victim, who had a gunshot wound to his neck, was taken to Hoag

Hospital and later to Western Medical Center.

Birney added the other people in the apartment may have also been

victimized in some way.

"None of the others was physically hurt, but they were all apparently

psychologically traumatized," he said. "One woman also said some property

was taken from her."

Police are trying to sort through he victims' accounts of the

incident, Birney said.

"It's always unclear and confusing when there are so many victims

involved in one incident," he said.

Neighbors in the large apartment complex may have heard the gun shot,

Birney said.

Police are still looking for the three men whose descriptions are not

available. If arrested, they will probably be charged with attempted

homicide, authorities said.

* Deepa Bharath covers public safety and courts. She may be reached at

(949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at o7 deepa.bharath@latimes.comf7 .

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