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7 Shot to Death in 30-Hour Period

The slayings begin Sunday and take place in different parts of L.A. until Monday evening. Police say all but two are drug- or gang-related.

April 01, 2003|Monte Morin | Times Staff Writer

A spate of shootings across Los Angeles left seven dead between Sunday afternoon and Monday evening, police said.

The numbers alarmed some law enforcement officials. Although fatal shootings in Los Angeles are down 20% so far this year compared with last, "We're starting to get more numbers again," said Lucy Diaz, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman. "I couldn't tell you why."

All but two of the shootings were described as being either gang- or drug-related. Each occurred in a different part of the city.

The first one happened shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, when a 19-year-old pedaling his bicycle on Grape Street near 97th Street in the city's Southeast Division was overtaken by a car and someone inside fired several shots. The cyclist died at the scene.

The second victim was also a bicyclist. Kenneth Waller, 33, was riding near 5th and Westminster avenues in the Oakwood area of Venice at 6:30 p.m. Sunday when someone fired at him from a car, police said. He died at UCLA Medical Center.

Police said the shooting appeared to be gang-related, but they didn't explain why.

About an hour later, homicide investigators responded to the 14800 block of Roscoe Boulevard in Panorama City, where an 18-year-old had been found dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. He was identified as Salvador Celis of Canoga Park. Police said that that shooting also appeared to be gang-related, but that they had not been able to find any witnesses.

The last shooting to occur Sunday was in the LAPD's 77th Street Division. Minutes after 9 p.m., 26-year-old Isaiah Cain was shot in the driver's seat of his car in front of his 6-year-old daughter. They had been stopped at Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue. Police have yet to determine a motive in the slaying.

At 5 a.m. Monday, Rampart Division patrol officers were called to the sound of gunfire at 237 S. Westlake Ave. Officers found a man on the sidewalk, bleeding from several gunshot wounds to his upper body. Witnesses said they had heard shots, then screeching tires. Police said the matter appears to be drug- or gang-related. They have not identified the man.

The last shooting reported occurred at 6:15 p.m. Monday in the 4800 block of South 2nd Avenue in the LAPD's Southwest Division. Police said that two males were shot to death in a gang-related, drive-by attack.

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