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Man fatally shot, woman wounded in Lake Balboa area

August 12, 2011 | 10:59 am

Northridge A man was fatally shot and a woman critically wounded in the Lake Balboa area Thursday evening, and Los Angeles police detectives are continuing to search for suspects in the shootings.

West Valley Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to an assault call in the 7900 block of White Oak Avenue Thursday about 7:20 p.m. and discovered the body of Hector Elio Espinoza, 19, of Northridge.  Espinoza had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 26-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to her upper body was also found seated in a parked car nearby at White Oak Avenue north of Stagg Street. Paramedics rushed her to a hospital, where she is listed in critical condition. Detectives have not released her name.

Homicide detectives have not determined a motive for the shootings and no weapons were recovered at the scene.

Police are asking the public with information to contact them at (818) 374-7720. After hours or weekends, call (877) 527-3247.

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-- Richard Winton

Twitter/lacrimes

Image: Map shows location of Thursday's shooting in purple, as well as 13 other homicides (in red) since January 2007. Credit: Homicide Report

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report

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