WEST ADAMS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Three people were killed and 12 others were wounded at a house party shooting in the West Adams area of South Los Angeles early Saturday, police said.
When about 20 officers responded to a call of shots fired around 12:30 a.m. at what was described as a makeshift restaurant in a home in the 2800 block of Rimpau Boulevard, about 50 people were running from the scene, described as "chaos," authorities from the Los Angeles Police Department said.
"When they came into the crime scene - very horrific. We have evidence all over the place...," said LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado.
According to the owner of the restaurant, there was a birthday party going on when an argument broke out between two groups. Soon after, three people left the house, came back with a gun and started shooting, police said.
Police said three men were found dead inside the home and at least 12 others were hospitalized. At least three of the wounded were listed in grave condition. Authorities said those people may not survive.
Authorities from the LAPD said witnesses described the location as a popular reggae spot.
"It's a single-family residence that was kind of a makeshift restaurant. It has canopies; they have a DJ, they have tables set up to play dominoes," Preciado added.
The owner, who does not have the proper permits to operate the home as a restaurant, was cooperating with police and providing information.
A weapon was recovered at the scene and two people, a male and female, were taken into custody, police said. They were questioned and later released. Both were recovering from gunshot wounds.
Authorities said they found shell casings from at least two different guns and it is unclear if the handgun was the murder weapon or if it was left behind by another person.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement about the incident late Saturday morning, in which he called it "the latest example of a senseless gun violence epidemic..."
"We cannot tolerate these tragedies multiplying in communities across America," the statement read, in part.