The bodies of two young men who had been shot to death were found side by side and face-down behind a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Carson on Tuesday morning.
Sheriff's homicide investigators shut down the restaurant until midafternoon while they combed the parking lot for evidence and tried to identify the bodies. Both men, described as blacks in their 20s, were fully clothed and wore white socks, but neither wore shoes.
"All we know is that . . . an employee of the Kentucky Fried Chicken found two male adults dead of gunshot wounds in the parking lot," Sheriff's Lt. Bill Christiansen said. The worker flagged down a passing California Highway Patrol officer, who called sheriff's investigators.
Christiansen said both men had been shot in the upper body, but added that investigators were uncertain whether they were shot in the parking lot or killed elsewhere and dumped behind the restaurant.
A resident who lives next to the parking lot said she heard five or six gunshots sometime between 3 and 4 a.m.
As investigators searched the parking lot for evidence, a crowd gathered to gape at the bodies, which lay uncovered for several hours in the graffiti-filled lot, in full view of Carson Street traffic about 40 feet away.
Neighboring residents and merchants said the shootings marked the first violence that they could remember in their area.
"I think of this as a quiet little neighborhood," said Jenifer Johnson, 19, who moved to the area early this year. "Just a couple weeks ago, we had an incident with a couple of guys fighting down the street and there were cop cars all over the place right away. "