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2 Injured in Shooting After Film About Latino Gangs

March 16, 1992|JOHN H. LEE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The opening weekend of "American Me," a film widely heralded for its a cautionary message about gang life, was marred by violence, including a drive-by shooting early Sunday at a screening of the film in East San Diego.

Two brothers were shot shortly after midnight as they left the late showing of "American Me," at the Pacific Cinerama 6 Theater in University Square.

Phillip Osuna, 29, of San Diego, was struck in the back by a bullet, injuring his spine, said Stephen Dietrich of the San Diego police. Osuna was taken to Mercy Hospital in serious condition, and may have suffered some paralysis, Dietrich said. Raymond Osuna, 19, was wounded in the left hip, and taken to UC San Diego Medical Center, Dietrich said. He was in satisfactory condition late Sunday.

Witnesses said they saw a small white car with four occupants slowly pass by the front door of the theater where people were filing out. The lights of the car went out, and a passenger in the back seat fired four shots into the crowd. The car sped away as mall and theater security responded. There were no other injuries, police said.

Detectives were investigating the incident as being gang related, although they said there was no indication that the Osuna brothers were affiliated with a gang. It was not immediately clear whether the gunman shot randomly, or directed his fire at the brothers, Dietrich said.

Over the weekend authorities reported four unrelated incidents involving gangs across the county.

Early Saturday, Chula Vista police reported two incidents, including a melee between apparent gang members at a fast-food stand. Four men were stabbed, none seriously, police said.

At Seaport Village, a 17-year-old youth from a county mental health shelter was stabbed Sunday by an alleged member of an Asian gang. Before the youth ran from the scene in the 800 block of West Harbor Drive, he allegedly yelled out his gang affiliation. He was described as being about 16 years old and carrying a 6-inch knife.

In another unrelated incident in East San Diego, a known gang member was shot once in the leg as as a car with three occupants drove past the corner of 49th Street and Orange Avenue where the gang member was standing. A passenger in the car fired at least two shots, police said.

San Diego police also responded to a report of a gang brawl in the 3900 block of Delta Street in South East San Diego.

Four youths carrying baseball bats were seen boarding a blue mini van and fleeing from the scene. A beating victim with a head wound could not identify his assailants, police said.

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