Westmont shooting kills 3, wounds 1

WESTMONT, Calif. It happened outside on the sidewalk near the Church's Chicken parking lot before midnight Sunday. Even though there were hundreds of people present Sunday night enjoying "cruise night," the Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help in looking for two suspects.

Sunday night at Western Avenue and Imperial Highway, loud music, cars burning rubber and engines revving are the regular sounds. But around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, it was gunfire that broke out.

"This car pulled up. All the Mexican fellows were right here, and five shots rang out," said eyewitness Devon Hyde. "Five shots. They just dropped like flies, just dropped. Didn't even say a word. Head shots. Right there. I couldn't sleep last night. I mean, I've never seen somebody drop dead, just like that, just drop. Just like he never existed. Three of them, right there."

According to Sheriff's investigators, some sort of fight between the suspects and the victims led up to the shooting.

"Don't know motive at this point," said L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. Lt. Patrick Nelson. "It's still very early on in this investigation, but it appears that the shooting was preceded by some sort of a physical altercation between the victims and some other males at what was apparently a cruising type of event."

One died on the street, another victim died at the hospital; a third, according to the Sheriff's Dept., died Monday. The fourth victim is expected to survive.

The cruising used to take place on Sunday nights over on Crenshaw Boulevard. The LAPD cracked down on that, so it came here. It's not a welcome sight for those who live or do business here.

"They had a 'hopping' contest in the parking lot here yesterday," said neighbor Earl Bailey. "You know what that's like? To have about 20 low-riders out here, all of them hopping against each other, and drinking and smoking and the girls with the short dresses ... So you keep your kids in the house."

The Sheriff's Dept. is looking for a break in this case. If you have any information, especially if you have video on your camcorder or your camera-phone, you are urged to contact the L.A. County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

Eyewitness News Reporter Miriam Hernandez contributed to this report.


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