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2 Cousins Found Shot to Death

April 07, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Two cousins were found shot to death Saturday morning near their Panorama City homes, one inside a parked car and the other at a nearby grassy area, police said.

The bodies of John Shellabarger, 26, and Phillip Gearhart, 24, were found by Los Angeles Police Department patrol officers in the 8700 block of Wakefield Avenue shortly before 6 a.m.

Residents told the officers they had heard several shots about 2:15 a.m., police said.

However, no emergency personnel were summoned, and the victims' bodies were not discovered until hours later.

The victims' grandfather, Paul Shellabarger, who lives nearby, said his grandchildren were "good, nice kids who never got into trouble."

"I just saw Johnny Thursday and now he's gone," said Shellabarger from his home Saturday night.

"I feel terrible. I just left my son's house. Everyone is over there and in shock."

The two men were very close to each other, the elder Shellabarger said.

Both men lived with their parents.

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