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Gunmen Kill Two in Burbank : Violence: Execution-style attack on car at busy intersection also leaves one wounded. Slayings are not believed to be gang-related.

March 10, 1994|JOCELYN Y. STEWART and CHIP JOHNSON | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Two gunmen stepped from a car at a busy Burbank intersection Tuesday and fired into another vehicle carrying three men, killing two of them and wounding a third in an attack that had all the markings of a planned execution, authorities said.

Burbank Police Chief Dave Newsham said it appeared that the killers used semiautomatic weapons in the attack at San Fernando Road and Hollywood Way shortly after 3 p.m.

The killings did not appear to be gang-related but did appear planned, Lt. Jack Valento said. "It was something that was not spontaneous," Valento said.

None of the victims, all described as adult Latinos in their mid- to late 20s, had been identified, Valento said.

The gunmen approached the victims' white Chevrolet Impala from behind on the southbound side of San Fernando Road and opened fire on the occupants, authorities said. The car had been stopped at a traffic light.

It was unclear how many shots were fired, but one witness said he heard at least three or four. The car's rear window was shattered by gunfire, and there was at least one bullet hole in the right rear passenger window.

Lt. Larry Koch said there were "several witnesses who saw all of this or a portion of it."

The wounded driver continued about a mile to a Jack in the Box restaurant in the 2600 block of San Fernando Road. By the time police arrived, the bodies of his two passengers were in the parking lot of the restaurant; they were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

The driver was treated at St. Joseph Medical Center for a minor gunshot wound in the back and released, Valento said.

Martin C. Perez, who works at Industrial Metal Supply Co. across the street from the shooting, had just emerged from his car when he heard the shots.

Perez said two men in dark clothing fired "three, maybe four shots" into the car. Immediately after the shooting, the men stepped back into their car and fled the wrong way down a one-way section of Hollywood Way, he said.

The shooting surprised many of Perez's co-workers, who described the neighborhood as a safe and usually quiet place.

"This is probably unusual for any area, but particularly for Burbank," Collen Canavin said. "This area is really safe, and Burbank (police) keep a tight rein," she said.

There were five murders in Burbank in 1993, Valento said.

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