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Barrage of gunfire at LA park leaves 2 dead, 5 wounded

Posted at 7:53 AM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 10:53:38-04

LOS ANGELES (AP)  — A dispute at a Los Angeles park at or near an apparently unpermitted car show led to a barrage of gunshots that left two people dead and five wounded, authorities said.

The LA Police Department said the shooting occurred around 3:50 p.m. Sunday at Peck Park in LA’s San Pedro neighborhood. At the time, an estimated 500 people were in the park and many ran for cover when the shooting began.

“All of a sudden we heard three shots — pow, pow, pow,” witness Dwayne Ellis told KABC. “Then we heard about 50 or 100 more — pow, pow, boom, boom. All kinds of shots. People were running.”

LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz said during a news conference that a dispute of some kind preceded the gunfire. Police don't know what started the disagreement or how many people fired. No arrests had been made.

Paramedics from the LA Fire Department responded. Spokesman Erik Scott said four men and three women were taken to hospitals and two of them died. He said the seven victims ranged in age from 23 to 54. No names were released.

Peck Park is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of downtown Los Angeles. Councilman Joe Buscaino represents the area and said the shooting occurred during an unpermitted car show hosted by gang members.

“Know that this park and many parks across the city have been having issues with these car shows,” Buscaino told Southern California News Group.

Buscaino has since 2020 been pushing a measure to allow Los Angeles park rangers to carry firearms.

“Recreation staff on scene can identify potential issues and coordinate with park rangers,” Buscaino said. “We’ve lost a sense of common sense in the City of Los Angeles.”

Skipp Townsend, a gang interventionist who visits the park regularly, was at the scene with other onlookers Sunday.

“It’s sad and heartbreaking that people still won’t talk,” Townsend told the Los Angeles Times. “You know, instead they pick up guns. So that’s heartbreaking, that we can have peaceful events in this area for, you know, two, three years straight with no incidents, and then one incident like this happens.”