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East L.A. driver shot and killed

December 25, 2012 | 11:35 am

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A 22-year-old man died early Tuesday morning in East Los Angeles. Authorities found his car smashed into a lamppost and his body riddled with bullets.

The shooting occurred at about 2 a.m., possibly on South Hicks Avenue near Los Angeles Community Hospital, authorities said. But the man's car was found crashed into a lamppost a short distance away at East Olympic Boulevard and South Dittman Avenue, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Lillian Peck.

Paramedics pronounced the driver dead. A female passenger was not injured and does not appear to be in custody, Peck said.

"There are so many possibilities," Peck said of what prompted the shooting. "We don't know if it was a drive-by, if he was shot when the car was stopped, if it was a car-to-car.... There are so many possibilities," Peck said.

She said the investigation was ongoing and authorities were looking for suspects.

The dead man has not been identified, according to the L.A. County coroner's office.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Investigators examine a car at the scene of the fatal shooting Tuesday. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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