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Three dead and 12 injured, as Gunfight breaks out in LA restaurant during a party

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Cops say argument triggered battle during party in a makeshift LA restaurant

Gunfight leaves three dead and 12 injured

A man and woman allegedly left the building, then returned the shooting

Two possible suspects questioned

Woman who lost her husband during the shooting returns to he scene.JPGResponders and onlookers assist bloodied victims

An early morning argument at a Los Angeles restaurant apparently triggered a gun battle that left three people dead and 12 wounded, authorities said on Saturday.

According to the LAPD,  a preliminary investigation found a party was under way at the restaurant, operating out of a converted home, at 12.30am on Saturday when the argument started.  Sources say the crime scene is a popular Jamaican restaurant in a converted house that features a DJ on Friday nights.
Witnesses say a man and woman left the building, then returned and the restaurant erupted in gunfire. There were three fatalities while twelve others were transported to local hospitals, their conditions ranging from critical to stable but serious.
Cops responding to the incident at the makeshift restaurant west of downtown  Los Angeles found shell casings and blood, all over the crime scene. Two possible suspects were being questioned.
Calling the incident “the latest example of a senseless gun violence epidemic that causes so much pain and sorrow in our city and across the nation, mayor Eric Garcetti said he was confident police would unravel questions surrounding the shooting, and expressed sympathy for victims’ families.
“We cannot tolerate these tragedies multiplying in communities across America,” Garcetti said.

police at a LA restaurant shooting.jpg

LAPD officers stake out the crime scene

Authorities have not released the names or ages of the fatalities and injured. The shooting occurred in a residential area of modest homes. Investigators were snapping photographs and scouring the ground in an area that extended over two blocks.
“There was some type of party there,” LAPD officer Mike Lopez  said. After the couple left the restaurant and returned, “that’s when the shooting occurred”.
Neighbor Sheryl Cobb said she was awakened by screaming and gunfire, but never left her home for fear of getting caught in a crossfire. “Bullets don’t have names on them,” she said.
Sergeant Frank Preciado said the restaurant was “a bloody scene with shell casings everywhere”. One firearm was recovered.
“The injured are scattered across Los Angeles hospitals.” Preciado said.

Deputy Chief Bill Scott, head of the LAPD’s South bureau, said his officers were still trying to piece together what happened.

 “This is real tragic. We have a lot of sorting out to do. When the shooting started, everyone scattered,” he said. “Our detectives are getting a better picture of what unfolded.”
The owner of the Jamaican eatery, who identified himself only as Dilly,  said he was hosting a birthday celebration when the shooting occurred.
“I do catering, that’s all I do,” he said. “Except on Saturdays when people come over and I cook food for them.”
The 63-year-old man, said he has operated his business out of the house for more than a decade. He said another shooting occurred at the location in 2011.
“The guy that died in that shooting was my friend,” he said.
A neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous,  said she was putting her dog to bed at about midnight when she heard what at first sounded “like fireworks.”
There was a momentary pause, she said, then: “It was just pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. It didn’t stop. It just kept going…. Really loud.”
“It was a series … first, like really fast, then a pause, almost like someone reloaded,” she said. “It was specific, as if someone was pointing at people.”
She estimated she heard about 20 gunshots in total, a number corroborated by other witnesses, she ran to the window and watched people run by her house, screaming. Some held beer bottles, she said. Many jumped in their cars and sped off, she said.
Within minutes, police helicopters appeared overhead and fire trucks and police cars were parked on the street, she said.


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