Home » 1 Dead, 3 Hospitalized After Drug Deal Gone Wrong Leads To Shootout in Trader Joes Parking Lot in West Hills
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1 Dead, 3 Hospitalized After Drug Deal Gone Wrong Leads To Shootout in Trader Joes Parking Lot in West Hills

The circumstances leading up to the shooting are not clear at this point, but Los Angeles Police Department officers reported that an unknown gunman opened fire on the three victims just before 3:45 p.m. in the Trader Joe’s parking lot located in the 22800 block of Vanowen Street near Fallbrook Avenue.

During a press conference, LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton noted that the shooting stemmed from a dispute between two parties in an apparent drug deal gone wrong.

“Our preliminary investigation has revealed that the dispute centered around a narcotics transaction in the area,” Hamilton said during a press conference Saturday evening. “During that dispute, multiple suspects produced firearms and fired at each other.”

Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that one of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene, while three others were hospitalized. All of the victims are adults.

At least one of the victim is in critical condition and another in serious condition, police added.

“Following the incident here, where the gunfire occurred, one of the suspects fled from this location, “Hamilton said, noting that an LAPD airship monitoring the situation from overhead witnessed the suspect fleeing in a vehicle with a window that was shattered by gunfire. “That suspect became involved in a hit-and-run traffic collision, where they injured someone else and continued fleeing the area.”

Police noted that the injured person is not believed to have suffered any life-threatening injuries.

Suspects surrendering to LAPD officers after brief pursuit in Canoga Park, stemming from drug deal gone wrong in West Hills.
At some point, the suspect switched into another vehicle, which the airship witnessed. Hamilton noted that at the same time, one of the gunshot victims was pronounced dead at the scene, which instantly led to the suspect being wanted for murder.

“Ground units caught up with the suspect and there was a short pursuit, lasting two-to-three minutes,” Hamilton said.

The pursuit came to an end near Canoga Boulevard and Saticoy Street in Canoga Park, when the suspect vehicle pulled over. The female driver and male passenger were both taken into custody without further incident.

Police believe that all parties involved in the incident are either hospitalized or in custody. In all, two people remain hospitalized while three are in police custody. Hamilton noted that during the subsequent investigation, detectives could determine if the hospitalized patients are suspects as well.

Two firearms were recovered from the parking lot during the preliminary investigation, police said.

None of the suspects or victims have yet been identified.

They are investigating the entire ordeal as a possibly gang-related incident.

Source: CBS News