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Witness: Teen died saving girl from shooting

August 26, 2010 12:23:01 AM PDT
A 17-year-old has died after a shooting in South Los Angeles on Wednesday. A woman said the teen shielded her daughter from gunfire, saving her life.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.