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Violence-racked weekend claims 10 lives in L.A. County

At least 10 others are injured in a weekend — summer's last — of gunfire and a stabbing in communities including Long Beach, Palmdale, Culver City, Pasadena and Compton.

September 22, 2013|By Hector Becerra
  • Investigators are at work in Culver City, where police killed a man they say was armed and confronted officers at the police station.
Investigators are at work in Culver City, where police killed a man they… (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles…)

At least 10 people were shot or stabbed to death in Los Angeles County over the weekend in a wave of mayhem that stretched from the High Desert city of Palmdale to the coastal community of Long Beach, according to authorities.

More than 10 others were injured in attacks in the county.

"For whatever reason, it's been a pretty violent weekend," said Sgt. Rich Pena of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. "I was thinking, 'For gosh sakes, what's going on here? Is it the last night of summer or what?' "

The slayings come at a time when homicides — especially those involving gangs — have declined dramatically throughout the county.

The violence began Friday about 10 p.m. in Long Beach, when two men and two women were shot at a birthday party in the 6500 block of Rose Avenue. The men, Sophon Kao, 26, and Jerry Chim, 24, died at the scene; one of the women remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to Long Beach police Sgt. David Marander. The other woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The friends were shot as they sat in an alcove to the side of the host's home. One neighbor said she heard at least six "pops," followed by screaming, as she watched TV.

"One of them said, 'My brother's shot. My brother's dead,'" Erica Reeder said. Police say the shooter had walked up and fired, then fled.

Then just before 6 p.m. Saturday, a man was hospitalized after being shot by police at a Long Beach home in the 200 block of Park Avenue in affluent Belmont Heights. Deputy Chief Robert Luna said police were responding to a complaint of an unwelcome person in a home.

In Culver City, a man who authorities say confronted officers with a handgun at the city's police station was shot and killed about 7:40 a.m. Saturday. The man had followed a patrol car into a locked police yard and refused to drop his gun, Pena said. Police fired on him, striking him in the torso. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

In Inglewood, a 30-year-old woman was killed, and a 24-year-old relative wounded, in a drive-by shooting Saturday just after 2 p.m. in the 10600 block of South Crenshaw Boulevard, according to Inglewood police. The dead woman was identified as Pia Porter, who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. She died at the scene.

In Palmdale, a resident walked out to her backyard in the 5200 block of East Avenue S-4 just before 10 a.m. Saturday and found a man lying dead. Pena said the man may have been shot about nine hours earlier at a large party in the 36900 block of Charter Court that deputies had responded to.

In Hawthorne, a police officer shot a man just before midnight Saturday after a foot chase. Sheriff's detectives are assisting in a review of the shooting, Pena said. The officer had been chasing a suspected car thief who had bolted from a vehicle during a traffic stop in the 3100 block of 145th Street. Just before the shooting, "the suspect jumped from an elevated porch and confronted the officer," Pena said. The suspect's injuries weren't life-threatening.

In Los Angeles, a 25-year-old man was stabbed to death just after midnight Saturday during an argument on Figueroa Street and Pico Boulevard, said LAPD Officer Gregory Baek. Four people were taken into custody in connection with the killing, which may have been gang-related, he said.

Two men were wounded in a drive-by shooting in the unincorporated Lennox area Saturday about 11:30 p.m. at 104th Street and Felton Avenue, according to a sheriff's sergeant. The men were walking when a car pulled up alongside them, and gunfire erupted. They were taken to a hospital.

In Compton, a gunman fired into a moving automobile Saturday about 9 p.m., fatally wounding a passenger, according to Pena. The two men in the car were friends and had just left a family gathering when the attack occurred. The driver, who was not injured, ran from the scene.

Two more people died from gunfire in Compton early Sunday morning, one in the 900 block of East Kay Street, and another in the 2800 block of West Alondra Boulevard. In the second incident, the victim was sitting in a parked car outside Nate's Liquor, Pena said. Witnesses said Howard Burley's friend had gone into the store when a man wearing a hoodie sweater walked up to the car and opened fire on the 32-year-old Burley. The gunman then ran into a parking lot, got into a car and drove off, Pena said.

In Pico Rivera, a valet and a security guard were shot Sunday just before 3 a.m. outside a nightclub in the 8800 block of Washington Boulevard. The valet died; the other man remained hospitalized. Three men and two women were taken into custody in connection with the attack, authorities told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

In La Puente, three people were shot early Sunday morning in the 16100 block of Old Valley Boulevard, a sheriff's sergeant said. The shooting occurred about 2 a.m.; all three victims were hospitalized.

A 30-year-old man was shot in the torso in Pasadena on Sunday about 1:20 a.m. in the 600 block of Palisade Street. He was expected to survive, said Lt. Jason Clawson but, like other witnesses, was not cooperating with investigators.

"There was a party in the area, an argument on the street, and next thing you know, shots are fired," he said. "No one is telling us who the suspects are or anything."

Pena and other officials were at a loss to explain the violence. Authorities sometimes see a spike in crime when the weather's hot and more people are outdoors, but the weekend was relatively cool.

"It's been going full tilt," Pena said Sunday. "I don't know what's going on here."

hector.becerra@latimes.com

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