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2 Men Shot to Death, 5 Stabbed in Hollywood

September 14, 2003|Daren Briscoe | Times Staff Writer

In what police said was the worst night of violence this year in Hollywood, two men were shot to death and five others were stabbed early Saturday in possibly three separate incidents.

In the first, described by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division as a possible road-rage incident, motorcyclist Cesar Garnica, 30, was killed in an altercation with another motorist near Hollywood and Laurel Canyon boulevards.

Garnica apparently was shot about 12:15 a.m. by an occupant in a burgundy 1998 or '99 BMW 325i that may have struck his motorcycle after Garnica, who was with several members of a Huntington Park motorcycle club, "possibly jumped on the hood" of the car, said LAPD Det. Mike Thrasher. After the shooting, other club members chased the car for about 15 minutes into North Hollywood, where it was last seen in the area of Irvine Avenue and Magnolia Street, police said. Garnica died of his injuries at a hospital.

Two possibly unrelated events that detectives are still investigating began about 1:30 a.m., Thrasher said, when "what appear to be five day laborers sleeping on the embankment" of the Ventura Freeway at Fountain Avenue were confronted by two men, one with a knife, the other with a gun.

At first, the incident appeared to be a robbery, with the victims told to line up, Thrasher said. At some point, though, the knife-wielding assailant began going down the line and stabbing each victim, he said.

All five victims were taken to local hospitals with multiple stab wounds, though none was considered life-threatening. Two victims were listed in critical condition, Thrasher said.

Shortly after that incident, two occupants in a vehicle at Fountain Avenue and St. Andrews Place were approached by a gunman. One victim ran and the other was robbed and forced to open his car, from which the gunman took some items before fleeing. Soon afterward, the robbery victim jumped over a freeway guardrail when he saw the gunman apparently returning. After jumping the guardrail, the victim discovered the body of another male, apparently the victim of a single gunshot wound, Thrasher said.

Detectives have not determined whether the stabbings, robbery and discovery of the body are related. "It's a very convoluted mess," Thrasher said.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (213) 485-6410, or the LAPD's tip hotline at (213) 485-9168.

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