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Gunman Kills Store Owner, Then Is Shot Dead by Police

January 16, 2003|Hector Becerra | Times Staff Writer

A 67-year-old man who argued with and then killed a store owner in Los Angeles on Wednesday was shot to death in an exchange of gunfire with LAPD officers, police said.

A teenage boy and girl at a bus stop near the exchange also suffered gunshot wounds.

The suspect was in a knickknacks store at Maycrest Street and Huntington Drive in Monterey Hills about 4 p.m. when he began arguing with the owner, then fired several times. The 36-year-old owner staggered to a barbershop next door. As he fell into the back of the shop pleading for help, the killer fired again and killed him, police said.

Minutes later, at the corner of Guardia and Newtonia drives a few blocks away, the killer refused officers' repeated orders in both Spanish and English to raise his hands, police said. Instead, he pulled out a gun, Sgt. John Pasquariello said.

"The suspect opened fire first," said LAPD Det. Cindy Juarez. Police shot back.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the forearm and a 16-year-old girl was struck in the calf, police said. Both were treated at County-USC Medical Center.

"The kids took off running," said Joey Hamilton, 36, who was sweeping the street when the shooting occurred. He said he saw the boy fall as the bullet struck him. The girl helped him, and they took shelter in a nearby yard, Hamilton said.

Investigators said the trajectory of the bullets, along with the officer's position, suggests that police gunfire may have struck the teens.

Neither the store owner nor the suspect has been identified.

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