4 Dead in Spate of Shootings in Los Angeles County Community

4 Dead in Spate of Shootings in Los Angeles County Community

Police tape blocks off a crime scene, in this file photo. (Andri Tambunan/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service
City News Service

6/27/2024

Updated: 6/27/2024

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LANCASTER, Calif.—The Lancaster community was reeling June 27 from a rash of shootings that left four people dead within 24 hours, prompting the mayor to decry what he called a lack of adequate policing in the community.
Sheriff’s department officials, meanwhile, said the agency plans to step up its patrols and visibility in the city.
The latest shooting occurred around 5:55 p.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of East Avenue J-12, where two men were found with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
A short time later, investigators learned that additional gunshot victims began showing up at an area emergency room, likely from the same shooting. As of mid-morning, the sheriff’s department had identified an additional five victims who were shot, but all were alive and considered “stable,” according to the department.
“All the victims were at the same location when the shooting first occurred,” according to the agency.
“Homicide detectives have learned this shooting is gang-related and are currently gathering more information on any suspects and continuing to work the scene,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement.
The shooting was at least the fourth to occur in Lancaster within 24 hours, leaving four people dead. The rash of violence began around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, when a man was wounded in a shooting at Avenue J-8 and 30th Street West.
At 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, a man was fatally shot in the parking lot of Whit Carter Park in the 45600 block of Sierra Highway. In that case, a light-colored compact vehicle was seen fleeing the scene, sheriff’s officials said.
At 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, a “male juvenile” man was fatally shot at a Chevron gas station in the 400 block of East Avenue L by two male suspects armed with handguns, and who fled in a white SUV.
Sheriff’s officials said investigators believe three of the fatal shootings may be gang-related, but “it remains unclear whether all three are connected at this time.”
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said he was outraged over the rash of violence, and demanded an increase in sheriff’s department presence in the community.
“We’re running at 50% of the number of deputies that we need,” Mr. Parris told ABC7. “They knew this was going to happen. They knew it was building. For whatever reason the county will not give us enough officers to protect this community, even though we pay for it.”
Mr. Parris said county officials need to do more to combat crime in the city, even if it meant bringing in the National Guard.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the area, issued a statement calling the spate of violence “deeply disturbing.”
“I believe every available resource should be used to quickly saturate the area and show the community that violence is unacceptable and public safety will be enforced,” Ms. Barger said. “I’m aware that Sheriff [Robert] Luna is taking this matter seriously and working on a plan. I stand by him and am ready to help our sheriff get any and all resources he needs to get the job done.”
The sheriff’s department issued a statement saying the Lancaster Station will be increasing its visibility in the community and “deploying personnel to focus on the areas impacted by the recent violence.”
“The station will be engaging community members at various city events to discuss safety concerns and share ongoing efforts to improve public safety,” according to the department. “Additionally, we will be moving department specialized teams to target areas in Lancaster to enhance security.
“We are leveraging all available department resources and tools to prevent further violence and to apprehend the individuals responsible for these murders. Our homicide investigators are diligently working to analyze information and evidence from each incident.”
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