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Prius driver shot to death near 110 Freeway

June 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A driver of a Toyota Prius was killed in a shooting near the 110 Freeway in South Los Angeles on Thursday morning.

The victim dialed 911 before crashing the car on the east 91 Freeway transition road from the southbound 110 Freeway at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday. The shooting happened near Vermont Ave. and Redondo Beach Blvd.

Officials said it appeared the driver, identified as 55-year-old Ivan Spencer of Rolling Hills, lost consciousness after he was shot, and his vehicle hit a guardrail and crashed into a concrete barrier. He was reportedly driving home from work.

Paramedics rushed Spencer to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he died a short time later from his wounds.

Detectives said the passenger-side window was shot out. Police believe it was a car-to-car shooting. They found nothing in Spencer's car that would indicate he was involved in any criminal activity.

"As of now, it just seems like a random act," said LAPD Det. Sal LaBarbera. "We're obviously looking for anyone that was on the freeway about 2:30 that may have seen this Prius, or may have seen any unusual activity as far as two cars or several cars involved."

Detectives looked for shell casings on the 91 Freeway transition road from the southbound 110 Freeway, but did not find any.

Both directions of the 91 Freeway and the connector were shut down for several hours as the Los Angeles Police Department investigated.

Spencer reportedly had left Starz, a cabaret club where he had worked for about 15 years.

"He was a good man. I worked for him for almost seven years. I've never had any problems with him," said coworker Shantae Young.

Friends said Spencer loved to clown around and go fishing. He founded a paintball competition team called the Psycho Clown Posse.

Anyone with information related to the incident was urged to call police at (877) LAPD-24-7.

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