Gang Member Dies in Wild Christmas Day Shootout

Christmas Day running gun battle has far-reaching effects

Los Angeles police continued their search Sunday for the gunmen who fatally shot an 18-year-old gang member and wounded three others, two critically, in a running gun battle on Christmas Day in Echo Park.

The gun battle broke out just before noon near 1300 W. Sunset Blvd., according to the LAPD.

Witnesses told police that multiple people had been shot, and one wounded person had been scooped up in a car that sped north. Minutes later, the car was found abandoned about two miles away with a dead man inside.

He was identified as Cesar Frank Guerrero, 18, of Paramount, according to Investigator Jerry McKibben with the County of Los Angeles Department of Coroner.

Paramedics and firefighters said they found three other shooting victims near Figueroa Street and Sunset Boulevard.

A white Honda that turned out to be stolen from Monterey Park rolled up to a residence on Innes Street, a small residential thoroughfare between Sunset and Dodger Stadium, and the occupants got into a running gun battle with the people in the house in what police say may have been a dispute within a gang, according to Lt. Ingrid Braun.

Minutes later, paramedics were called to Baxter Street and Scott Way, about two miles away.

The stolen car was found at that scene along with Guerrero's body, Braun said.

The dead gang member's father spent Christmas Day at the crime scene and identified his oldest son.

"His younger brothers, how are you going to remember Christmas -- 'this is the day I lost my brother,'" Cesar Guerrero Sr. said to reporters. "How am I supposed to celebrate my birthday, which was just three days ago?"

He said his family tried to convince his son to get out of the gang life.

"They don't want to do it, this is what happens -- this is what happens all the time," said Guerrero Sr. "And all his friends, none of them are around, all his so-called homeboys, they're gone. They left him there. They were there with him and they left him there to die."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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