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Man Shot in Carjacking Attempt

November 05, 1994

PANORAMA CITY — A man opened fire on a motorist, seriously wounding him, after the driver refused to surrender his car, Los Angeles police said.

The motorist, Mario Ayala, believed to be in his 20s, remained in serious condition at Northridge Hospital Medical Center on Friday with a bullet wound to his chest, police said. He is expected to recover, authorities said.

The gunman fled after the attack, police said.

The incident occurred about 8:45 p.m. Thursday as Ayala and a friend were driving his newly purchased car--a purple 1988 Nissan Sentra with custom rims, said LAPD Detective Mel Arnold. As they drove down the 7800 block of Peachtree Avenue, a man walked into the middle of the street, and Ayala, thinking it was a friend, stopped the car, police said.

The man, however, drew a pistol and demanded that Ayala give him the car, Arnold said.

Instead, police said Ayala stepped on the accelerator and the gunman fired several shots through the windshield.

Ayala, who was wounded, continued driving for about a block until the car slammed into a fire hydrant, police said.

His friend was not hurt, Arnold said. Police have no suspects.

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