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Five Valley shootings appear unrelated, police say

LAPD is beefing up patrols after 2 people die and 8 are hurt.

May 22, 2008|Andrew Blankstein and Rong-Gong Lin II | Times Staff Writers

Five shootings that left two dead and eight wounded in the San Fernando Valley on Tuesday night appear to be unrelated, Los Angeles Police Department officials said Wednesday.

Still, top LAPD commanders said they were moving quickly to prevent further outbreaks of violence in the area by deploying dozens of additional officers.

The shootings, over a four-hour period, were unusual for the Valley. Much of the violence appeared to be gang-related, according to LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore.

The first shooting occurred in Northridge shortly before 6 p.m., as a 16-year-old boy was walking on the 8600 block of Wilbur Avenue near Napa Street. The teen was shot in the face and shoulder by a gunman who jumped out of a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle, police said.

About 7 p.m. several men standing near the intersection of Oxnard Street and Whitsett Avenue in North Hollywood were involved in an argument that escalated into gunfire. Officers arrived to find a wounded man in his 30s, who was pronounced dead at Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills.

More gunfire erupted from several cars that were seen speeding from a parking lot near the North Hollywood shooting. Patrol officers conducting a traffic stop heard the gunfire, investigated and saw a suspected gunman running along Erwin Street near Whitsett Avenue.

As they prepared to search the area, officers found the body of a 29-year-old man from Glendale who had been shot multiple times. His name was withheld until relatives could be notified.

Police believe the victim was abandoned at the scene by others involved in the same incident.

At 8:15 p.m, four people were shot and wounded on the 10100 block of Vena Avenue in Arleta. One victim was injured in the chest and back and listed in critical condition. The other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police suspect the attack was gang-related.

At 8:50 p.m., a man was shot in the arm in the 15000 block of Nurmi Avenue in Arleta by someone who fired from a dark-colored Honda Civic, police said. Four people were believed to be in the car.

About 9:45 p.m. two men walking on the sidewalk at Vaughn Street and Bromont Avenue in Pacoima were shot by gunmen in a white Lexus, police said. One victim was hit in the ankle and the other in the buttocks.

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

ron.lin@latimes.com

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