Three people who were returning from a church function in Torrance were shot, one fatally, in a car-to-car shooting early Sunday morning, authorities said.
The triple shooting occurred shortly after 2 a.m. in the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue in Gardena, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The location borders Hawthorne.
The victims’ vehicle was making a northbound turn onto Crenshaw from Rosecrans when a sedan pulled up alongside their car. At least one person inside the sedan opened fire, striking three of the four occupants, according to sheriff’s Lt. Steve Jauch.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple shots fired.
“I was just in my room when I heard gunshots,” said Luis Hernandez, a resident of Gardena. “I heard like three gunshots. Next, I heard four to five gunshots again.”
After the shooting, the vehicle continued its turn and came to a stop in a nearby fast food restaurant’s parking lot, Jauch said. The other vehicle fled eastbound on Rosecrans, according to a sheriff’s news release.
The male driver, who was shot in the upper torso, died at the scene, the release stated. He has not yet been identified.
Two other victims, both men, also suffered gunshot wounds to the upper torso and were rushed to a local hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.
The female passenger was not wounded.
One witness reported hearing yelling prior to the shots being fired.
“I was on the corner … and I saw two cars, they are yelling at each other,” said Kamal Manzary. “They started shooting. I heard the people shooting. I ran away.”
Mansard said he heard at least 5 to 7 shots fired. He immediately dialed 911.
An investigation is ongoing, and authorities are still working to determine the circumstances that led up to the shooting.
“At this point, we have very little to go by,” Jauch said in an interview a short time after the incident.
The Sheriff’s Department did not immediately have a detailed description of the vehicle, which Jauch had described only as a dark-colored sedan. Manzary contradicted the information, however, saying he observed the gunfire coming from a white Kia.
A description of the possible shooter or shooters was not provided.
“It’s unfortunate. You have four adults returning from a church function … it’s just a senseless murder,” Jauch said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be left through Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-8477.