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2 young men slain in Westside violence

Santa Monica, Venice campuses offer counseling after two former students are shot to death in separate incidents. Four are held in Santa Monica killing.

November 05, 2009|Robert J. Lopez and Andrew Blankstein

School officials in Santa Monica and Venice counseled students Wednesday and were cautioned to be on alert for suspicious activity after two former students were slain in separate shootings Tuesday.

The killings occurred several hours apart in Venice's Oakwood neighborhood and in the Pico neighborhood in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica police arrested and booked four people in connection with the shooting in that city. Sgt. Dave Hunscke, citing the ongoing investigation, declined to say what the suspects were booked on or whether the two killings were connected.

Capt. Joe Hilton of the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division said investigators didn't know if the shootings were connected.

William Charles McKillian Jr., 19, was in the 600 block of Westminster Avenue in Venice when he was confronted by at least one attacker who opened fire about 3:30 p.m. No arrests have been made.

Shortly before 9 p.m., Richard Manuel Juarez, 20, was at a bus stop with three Santa Monica High students on Pico Boulevard in front of Virginia Avenue Park when two people walked up and began shooting, officials said.

The three students ran away and were not hit, officials said, but Juarez was struck at least once. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The two suspected assailants, along with two people in a car, were arrested after a patrol officer heard gunshots and saw two people running from the park area, police said.


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