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5 Wounded in Shooting at Banquet Hall

April 16, 2006|From a Times Staff Writer

Five people were wounded, one critically, in a drive-by shooting Saturday night outside a North Hollywood banquet hall, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said.

Officer Mike Lopez said the shooting occurred about 8:40 p.m. when four or five male suspects driving past Le Monge banquet hall in the 6900 block of Lankershim Boulevard in a silver Honda fired on a group of people gathered outside. About 100 people were inside attending a coming-of-age party for a 15-year-old girl.

Lopez said the suspects had tried to get into the party and became angry after they were turned away.

"They got in a car and came back and shot the people standing outside," he said. All the victims were male, he said, "and the victims know who the suspects are."

Alberto Ruiz, 15, was among those inside and said there was chaos immediately after the shooting, with witnesses rushing into the hall and screaming. "Everybody was freaked out," he said.

Three hours after the shooting, officers were still questioning witnesses inside the hall, a one-story building in a largely industrial area.

All of the victims were taken to local hospitals. Four of them were in stable condition, police said.

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