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Three men shot at vigil for gang member [UPDATED]

February 3, 2009 |  7:53 am
Two men were fatally shot and a third wounded during a vigil for a slain gang member in the unincorporated L.A. County area of Westmont, between South-Central Los Angeles and Inglewood, authorities said today.

An unidentified gunman approached the corner of 104th Street and Budlong Avenue about 7:20 p.m. Monday and fired multiple shots at the three men before running west on 104th  and out of view, said Deputy Jeff Cannon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Los Angeles resident Keith Orange, 45, and Carson resident Joe Carl Caver, 26, were pronounced dead at the scene, said a county coroner's official. The third man was taken to a hospital, but his condition was unknown. The vigil was being held for a gang member killed Jan. 30, Cannon said.

Updated at 3:12 p.m. Orange and Caver were cousins, according to Orange’s twin brother, Kevin. Keith Orange grew up with Gregory Thomas, the 37-year-old for whom the vigil was held.

Kevin Orange said his brother was a former gang member, but hadn’t been involved with gangs for a long time.

“You come to pay your respects to someone who has just passed away and this dude comes out to shoot,” he said. “That was a cold, callous person.”

Keith Orange had a 4-year-old son with fiancee Quiesha Johnson, 26, whom he planned to marry on Valentine’s Day, his brother said.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: Annette Mackey and her husband Darrell Lowery place candles on the blood-stained sidewalk. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Click here for more photos from the scene.