Witness: Teen died saving girl from shooting

SOUTH LOS ANGELES The shooting broke out at the /*Avalon Gardens*/ housing project near the intersection of East 88th Place and McKinley Avenue at about 8:45 p.m.

According to witnesses, Lenard Jackson and a young girl were standing in an open area when a suspect came up and started shooting.

"They were shooting at both of them, but he covered my daughter up," said witness Mary Campbell.

Jackson was rushed to a local hospital, where he was declared dead. The young girl was not injured in the shooting.

"He shielded the girl. In my book he is a hero," said Bennie Stewart, the victim's uncle.

The suspect fled the scene after the shooting. A deputy who happened to be in the area pursued the suspect, and then the deputy was involved in a shootout with the suspect at 92nd Street and Central Avenue. No one was injured, but the suspect was able to escape.

Authorities said they recovered a weapon at the scene, but it was unclear who the weapon belonged to.

It is unknown if the shooting was gang related. Authorities did not know if Jackson was a gang member.

No suspect description is available at this time. Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Southeast Division at (213) 972-7828.

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