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Man detained in Echo Park, Glassell Park shootings

March 2, 2009 | 12:14 pm

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A suspected gang member who was in court today on a felony drug charge faces more legal drama after police officers detained him on suspicion of being the triggerman in a series of weekend shootings in northeast Los Angeles that killed two men and wounded a third, authorities said.

Andre Upshaw, 33, was being questioned by Los Angeles police and is expected to be booked later today on suspicion of murder in connection with the three shootings Sunday afternoon in Echo Park and Glassell Park that took place within minutes of each other, according to several department sources.

Upshaw was making an appearance before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus on a single count of felony drug possession when police came into court with their guns drawn and arrested him. Authorities cleared the court gallery and arrested Upshaw as he waited for his case to be called.

He had been out on bail, but police said they didn't want to take any chances and cleared the courtroom before detaining him.

LAPD investigators reported that, in all three shootings, the suspect was driving a black truck. Gang investigators worked the case all night and, based on witnesses, identified Upshaw. He was arrested without incident.

The first shooting was reported at 5 p.m. in the 1600 block of Baxter Street in Echo Park. Eric Zamarripa, 38, died of his wounds at a local hospital.

A minute later, a second shooting was reported in the 2000 block of Echo Park Avenue, police said.  The victim in the second shooting was taken to hospital in stable condition.

Those incidents were followed by a third shooting half an hour later in 4300 block of Toland Way in Glassell Park. That victim, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

-- Andrew Blankstein