Man in Burning Car Found With Gunshot Wound Dies

A gunshot victim who crashed an SUV into two other vehicles and a home in South Los Angeles Thursday afternoon was pulled out of the burning vehicle by two police officers, but died at a hospital.

Three LAPD officers pulled a driver from fiery wreckage Thursday at 2:53 p.m. in the 100 block of 50th Street. A cellphone camera captured the aftermath.

"I'm taking cover," said a voice in the video. "I do not want anything to explode on me or anybody else. This is crazy!"

Police said there was a drive-by shooting right before the crash.

"I was in the restroom and I heard five gunshots. And I came outside," said Nayra Cabrera, a witness.

The man killed was identified as Leon Simpson, a motorcycle enthusiast and anti-violence activist.

Last June, Simpson helped raise money to bury Tavin Price, the teenager killed for wearing red tennis shoes.

Police are trying to determine whether Thursday's violence is part of a recent spike in crime in South Los Angeles. Police have deployed additional resources to the area as a result.

At least one of the vehicles struck by the SUV also caught fire. Some 32 firefighters put out the flames in 20 minutes and also contained fuel leaking from the SUV, the front of which punched its way into the home.

The city Department of Building & Safety was notified to check the home's structural integrity, he said.

John Cádiz Klemack and City News Service contributed to this report.

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