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Motive sought in 3 shooting deaths in Compton

L.A. County sheriff's investigators are searching for a suspect in the fatal shooting of two men and a woman Sunday night. Authorities say there's no sign the attack was gang-related.

March 31, 2009|Richard Winton

Sheriff's investigators are searching for a gunman and a motive in the fatal shooting of two men and a woman at a Compton apartment over the weekend that comes at a time when the community has seen a drop in violent crime.

The fatal shootings occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday at a small apartment behind a barbershop on a stretch of East Rosecrans Avenue that is plagued by gangs and crime, authorities said.

The motive in the killings remains unclear, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. David Smith.

Deputies responded to 911 calls from neighbors reporting shots being fired at the apartment. All three victims were declared dead at the scene.

One of the victims was identified by relatives as Andrew Williams, a father of three.

The names of the other victims were withheld pending notification of their families.

On Monday, flowers were tied to metal railings near the apartment where the slayings occurred.

Family members and friends of the 25-year-old female victim staged a vigil Monday to mark the tragedy. They were assisted by members of Project Cry No More, a support group for murder victims' families. Relatives said she was killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There is no indication the shooting was gang-related, according to investigators.

But sources familiar with the case said they have not ruled out narcotics as a factor.

The slayings come after a year in which Compton saw the lowest number of homicides in at least 25 years.

There were 38 homicides reported in 2008, a 50% drop from 2005.

The Sheriff's Department is asking anyone with information on the killings to call (323) 890-5500.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

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