Victim of Long Beach Drive-By Speaks Out

Police searched Monday for the shooter responsible for leaving five people wounded in a drive-by in Long Beach on Sunday night.

The shooting was reported about 9:40 p.m. in the 200 block of West 14th Street, officials with the Long Beach Police Department said.

Neighbors said a car sprayed gunfire at a group standing outside an apartment building. One neighbor said he recalled hearing at least 20 shots.

Five people were taken to hospitals in Long Beach, police said. Four were released Monday and a fifth remained in serious condition.

"It was unexpected," said Dario De La Torria, one of the shooting victims, who stood in crutches on the sidewalk Monday afternoon. "We were just chilling. We couldn't really do nothing, you know?

"They rolled up on us so fast that we didn't really have that much time to really get away."

Police said the shooting appeared to be gang related, but De La Torria denied any gang involvement.

"They see a group of people, they think (gangs) automatically," he said. "It is what it is. You know, look at where we live."

Residents in the area said that shootings are not unusual in the area, but that the sheer scope of the crime that had people on edge.

"That's crazy. I ain't never heard of something like that. So many shots," said Travoni Lewis, who has lived in the neighborhood for seven years. He said he's always careful because some days he thinks the neighborhood is safe some days, but can quickly change.

"It's like a light switch. One day it's bad, some days it's good," Lewis said.

The Long Beach Police Department is asking for help with the investigation.

"We do ask that anyone with information to come foward and always keep their eyes out and if anything seems suspicious in their neighborhood to call police ahead of time and officers can check it out," said spokeswoman Marlene Arrona.

Long Beach police said they will be stepping up patrols in the area. They are also hoping to get more information from security cameras in the area.

NBC4's Pablo Kay, Willian Avila and Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

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