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Man shot dead on 18th Street in Central L.A.

April 30, 2012|By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man on 18th Street in Central Los Angeles early Sunday in which more than a dozen bullets were fired, including some that pierced the front wall of a nearby church.

The victim was a man in his 20s, said Mark Morgan, a homicide detective at the scene. His name was not released because his next of kin had not yet been notified, Morgan said.

The street — from which one of the city's most notorious gangs took its name many years ago — is largely quiet, said neighbors, who awoke to the gunshots about 2:30 a.m.

"I've been here six years and there's been no problems," said Juan Carlos Echeverria, a Salvadoran immigrant who recycles cans and bottles. "I come and go late at night with no trouble."

Echeverria said he awoke to the sound of gunshots in his apartment on Gramercy Place and ran around the corner to find the man lying on the sidewalk in front of an apartment building, bleeding from numerous chest wounds. "He was dying, and by the time the ambulance arrived, he was dead," Echeverria said.

Morgan said the shooting appeared to be the work of one man, who had been seen running west on 18th Street.

Sunday morning, members of the Templo de Poder Christian Church, 50 yards from the crime scene, prepared for their 8 a.m. service as church officials and detectives viewed where bullets — four in all — pierced the building's walls.

No one at the church was hurt.

sam.quinones@latimes.com

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