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Car-to-car shooting in Watts ends with 1 dead, 1 critically wounded

March 1, 2010 | 10:47 am

There have been 133 homicides within two miles of this shooting, according to the Times' Homicide Report database. Click for an interactive map of Los Angeles County homicides. One man died and another remained in critical condition Monday after a car-to-car shooting in Watts, police said.

Ricardo Mendoza, 27, and Robert Gipson, 23, began to shoot at one another from separate cars about 11:55 p.m. Sunday “for no apparent reason” as they drove along East 92nd Street near Holmes Avenue, said officials with the Los Angeles Police Department.

The men were members of rival gangs, said LAPD Det. Christopher Barling. During or after the exchange of more than a dozen bullets, Mendoza’s 1998 green Honda Civic came to a dead stop, likely because of his gunshot wounds, authorities said.

At about the same time, Gipson made a U-turn and crashed his 2000 white Ford Mustang into a telephone pole in front of 1774 East 92nd Street. Gipson’s passenger left the car and ran north on Holmes Avenue, police said.

Mendoza, who received multiple gunshot wounds, was pronounced dead at the scene 15 minutes after the first shot, authorities said. Gipson was taken to a hospital, where he remained in critical condition with at least one gunshot wound.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the LAPD at (213) 485-1383.

-- Amina Khan

Map: There have been 133 homicides within two miles of this shooting, according to the Times' Homicide Report database. Click for an interactive map of Los Angeles County homicides.

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