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Vendor, Teen Fatally Shot on Streets

Crime: Single mother of four dies in the first of three attacks in about an hour. A third victim is stabbed by a carjacker.

January 11, 2002|MILTON CARRERO GALARZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A popular fruit vendor was shot and killed in an Elysian Park neighborhood in the first of a series of unrelated attacks in northeast Los Angeles on Wednesday evening.

Concepcion Gutierrez, 47, of East Los Angeles was shot about 6:45 p.m. as she sold produce from her truck on Blake Avenue. The killer abandoned the truck on a nearby street and took an unknown amount of money.

About an hour later, in a strip mall on Sunset Boulevard near Bates Avenue, a 14-year-old boy was gunned down in an apparent gang-related attack, police said. Minutes later, a man was stabbed on Solano Avenue, also in the Elysian Park area, in another carjacking. He was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

Detectives said they were having trouble finding witnesses to any of the attacks.

In Gutierrez's killing, "we're still not sure about the motive--was it a robbery or carjacking?" said Det. Bob Lopez said. "A lot of people probably watched this, but obviously, they're not saying anything."

Gutierrez was the mother of four, police said. She had driven through the neighborhood selling produce and candy for about seven years, neighbors said.

Gutierrez was from Cuernavaca, Mexico, and was a single mother, neighbor Josefina Rodriguez, 52, said.

"She tried to face life by herself, and in looking for a better life, she found death," Rodriguez said.

Police also were having trouble finding witnesses to the boy's shooting, despite the heavy foot and car traffic on Sunset Boulevard.

Some residents and business employees said he had just left a restaurant when he was killed.

Anyone with information on any of the attacks is asked to call detectives at (213) 847-4261 or (877) LAW-FULL.

*

Times staff writer Hector Becerra contributed to this report.

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