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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

2 Men Killed in El Monte Shooting

May 27, 2000|BOBBY CUZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A drug deal gone awry resulted in the shooting deaths of two men in an El Monte apartment, including one man hit by a stray bullet as he prepared to shower, police said Friday.

Juan Pablo Padilla, 21, was in the bathroom, apparently uninvolved in the drug deal taking place in his apartment, when he was shot in the chest at 5 p.m. Thursday, sheriff's investigators said.

The other man shot to death, described only as a 22-year-old Latino, had gone to the apartment to conduct the drug deal, police said. His name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

Police Friday night were looking for one or more people who had been in the apartment and are suspected of the shooting.

Padilla shared the apartment with his mother and several siblings. On Friday, the family was loading belongings into a U-Haul truck. "My mom just wanted to move," said Padilla's 17-year-old brother, Alex.

Alex Padilla said his brother used to be a gang member, but he dismissed the idea that the shooting was gang-related.

"We don't know what happened," he said. "I went out and when I came back, they told me my brother got shot, and somebody else was dead already."

Alex Padilla said he had no idea whom the second victim was.

Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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