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Man Slain in Confrontation With Rival Gang Members


A 20-year-old Rampart-area man was fatally shot in a Glassell Park hotel parking lot during a confrontation between two rival gangs over a girl who was friendly with both gangs, police said.

Rafael Sanchez was shot about 3:20 a.m. Sunday as he was getting into a truck to flee the melee, which began when members of one gang crashed another's party, said Detective Loren Zimmerman.

Sanchez and three other members of his gang were having a party with about 10 girls, ages 13 to 16, in a room of the Triangle Hotel at Eagle Rock Boulevard and Verdugo Road, Zimmerman said.

Two girls left the hotel room because one wanted to visit a member of a rival gang at his Glassell Park home, Zimmerman said. They stayed at his home for a while, then returned to the hotel.

The man the girls went to visit followed them back to the hotel with four friends, Zimmerman said. The girls told police that these men coerced them into knocking on the hotel room door to be let in, he said.

When the five rival gang members walked into the hotel room, the girls and most of the gang members fled, Zimmerman said. Sanchez apparently ran out to get a gun, then ran back into the hotel room, which was empty except for a member of his own gang, he said.

Sanchez yelled to his friend to leave and ran down to the parking lot, where two other friends were waiting in a truck, Zimmerman said. As Sanchez headed for the truck, the five rival gang members reappeared on foot and one of them shot Sanchez three times.

No one else was reported hurt, Zimmerman said.

Police recovered the gun Sanchez had been holding, a .38-caliber revolver, but they did not recover the one he was shot with, Zimmerman said. Police believe they know who shot Sanchez, but no arrests have been made, Zimmerman said.

Sanchez was taken to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead of gunshot wounds to the head and back at 5:37 a.m., said hospital spokeswoman Sandra Wachter-Van.

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