Sheriff's explorer slain in drive-by shooting in Whittier

WHITTIER, Calif.

Cesar Rodriguez, 19, and a friend were standing in front of a home in the 11800 block of Painter Avenue about 3:10 a.m. when they were gunned down. Both men died at the scene.

Witnesses say the driver of a gray Scion fired several shots at them.

The other victim was identified as 24-year-old Larry Villegas.

Investigators say the car, carrying three or four people, fled northbound on Painter Avenue.

Rodriguez had been a volunteer in the Explorers program for four years.

"This was his lifelong dream to become a deputy sheriff," said Sheriff's Capt. Patrick Maxwell of Rodriguez. "He was preparing himself to do that and was making the right choices in life."

Anyone with information is asked to call (323) 890-5500.

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