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Early spike in homicides as two more killed in South L.A.

Two deadly gang-related shootings in South L.A. this week brought to 20 the number of homicides in Los Angeles so far this year, nearly double the number last year at this point, police said.

Michelle Anderson, 21, was shot multiple times after walking out of a house on 87th Street near Denker Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday. She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

Detectives say witnesses heard two shots but did not see any of the suspected assailants. The shooting is believed to be gang-related, detectives said.

Times' database: Homicide Report

Earlier in the evening, shortly after 8:30 p.m., a 31-year-old man was fatally shot and another wounded as they drove in an alley off the 4000 block of Nicolet Street. It too was believed to be gang-related, police said.

So far in 2012, there have been 20 homicides in the city of Los Angeles compared to 11 for the same period last year, said Det. Sal LaBarbera of the Los Angeles Police Department. He noted that 12 of the homicides have been in South Los Angeles.

"It is not unusual to see a spike at the start of the year. It is usually not right away," said LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon. "Homicides are hot and cold."

Gannon said his team is trying to determine what is behind the recent spike in killings. 

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-- Richard Winton

 
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