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2 Men, 2 Youths Slain in 4 Separate Incidents


Violence has claimed the lives of four people this week in Northeast Los Angeles.

A Cypress Park man and two teen-agers from Montecito Heights and Highland Park were killed in three separate shooting incidents, and a Silver Lake man was stabbed to death, Los Angeles police said.

In the first incident, Cuong Huu Ha, 25, was fatally shot early Sunday outside his Merced Street home in what police said was an apparent robbery attempt.

Ha was approached by two men in a blue car as he arrived home about 1:30 a.m., Detective Ron Whitt said. Witnesses said the men told Ha to give them his car keys and when he refused, they shot him once in the chest. The assailants shot Ha's brother once in the hand after he ran outside the house to help, Whitt said.

Ha was taken by a nearby resident to Pacific Alliance Medical Center, which has no emergency facility, Whitt said. Paramedics were called to the medical center, but Ha was dead when they arrived. Police have no suspects in the shooting.

In an unrelated incident, a 16-year-old Montecito Heights youth was killed about 1 p.m. Sunday in a drive-by shooting, which police said was gang-related.

David Falcon was shot once in the chest as he stood with fellow gang members in the 100 block of East Avenue 41, Whitt said. Falcon died on the way to County-USC Medical Center, where he was taken by paramedics.

Witnesses, who identified the alleged assailant, told police that Falcon was shot from a passing car by one of four rival gang members, Whitt said. No arrests had been made as of Wednesday, Whitt said.

In the Silver Lake killing, Stephen Yoder, 39, was found dead by his roommate early Tuesday in the carport of his Hamilton Way apartment building, police said.

Yoder had said he was going out with friends Monday night and would be home later, the roommate told police. When Yoder failed to return, the roommate went to look for him and found him in the carport about 12:30 a.m.

There were no witnesses to the incident and police have no apparent motive. He was not a victim of robbery, Whitt said.

The fourth homicide occurred at 12:40 a.m. Wednesday in the parking area behind an apartment complex in the 4400 block of Toland Way in Eagle Rock. A gang member attending a party was playing with a .22-caliber revolver that was not fully loaded, Whitt said. The youth pulled the trigger several times, then the gun discharged, he said.

Benjamin Acosta, 16, of Highland Park, who was attending the party, was wounded in the left side of his chest and died at the scene. Police arrested a 16-year-old Highland Park youth in connection with the shooting and will ask the district attorney's office to file murder charges again him, Whitt said.

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