Los Angeles County suffered its 38th homicide of 2014, a year just 42 days old, when the body of a man was found in a vehicle in East Los Angeles in the early morning hours Tuesday.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which has jurisdiction over the unincorporated East Los Angeles neighborhood, was making only scant details available Tuesday. What is now known is that at about 3:30 am, the body of a man was spotted inside a black sport utility vehicle on the 4800 block of Telegraph Road in East Los Angeles — a neighborhood just east of Boyle Heights, which marks the eastern limit of the City of Los Angeles.
The man was sitting in the driver’s seat. He had died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds. The bullets shattered the driver’s side window of the SUV.
But sheriff’s deputies know nothing else so far. Whether the man was involved in any sort of illegal activity himself or whether he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time is still under investigation.
“He was parked on the wrong side of the road with the hood up,” said Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Holly Francisco. “So we don’t know if he was having car problems or somebody else was having car problems.”
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has not yet been able to get a positive identification on the murder victim.
The shooting is the first murder in East Los Angeles, a region of just under 130,000 people, since September 10 of last year, when 23-year-old Carlos Ernesto Oliva Sola was shot to death.
According to data analyzed by The Los Angeles Times, there have been a total of 10 homicides, including the Tuesday morning shooting, in just the previous 12 months in East Los Angeles, and 84 in the past seven years.
Of the 38 Los Angeles County homicides so far in the year, 25 have come by gunshot.