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Los Angeles

$25,000 Reward Is Offered in Slayings of 2 Cousins

June 18, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fatal shooting of two cousins in Panorama City in April, Los Angeles authorities announced Monday.

Philip Gearhart, 24, and John Shellabarger, 26, were found shot to death April 6 near their homes in the 8700 block of Wakefield Avenue, Los Angeles Police Det. Mike Oppelt said.

The night before, the two men had been involved in a fight with patrons at California Broiler Restaurant & Sports Bar in the 8800 block of Tampa Avenue in Northridge, Oppelt said at a news conference attended by the victims' relatives and City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel.

The two men left the restaurant about 1:30 a.m. and were shot a short time later across the street from Gearhart's residence, Oppelt said. Family members said they heard shots about 2 a.m. but didn't call police because they had no idea where the shots were fired.

The cousins, who both lived with their parents, were found by patrol officers about 6 a.m., Oppelt said.

Anyone with information is urged to call homicide detectives at (818) 756-8291 during business hours and (818) 756-8285 on evenings and weekends.

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