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Slayings are downtown's first of 2009, police say

April 12, 2009 |  4:14 pm

Two men were found shot to death inside a Skid Row hotel this morning in what police said were the year’s first slayings in downtown Los Angeles.

The victims, who have not been publicly identified, were found about 5 a.m. with multiple gunshot wounds at the Lamp Lodge, a three-story hotel near the intersection of Stanford Avenue and East 7th Street, police said.

Neither of the men were staying at the hotel, said Los Angeles Police Department Det. Albert Marengo.

One of the men was found inside the hotel’s first-floor lounge, and the other victim had walked out of the hotel after the shooting and collapsed in the parking lot, Marengo said. Witnesses said they saw a man fleeing the scene, the detective added.

Marengo said he hoped more witnesses would come forward with information about the shooting.

“I’m sure there were people inside and outside the hotel” at the time of the slayings, he said.

Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz said the killings were the first this year in the department’s Central Division. The last homicide on Skid Row was June 16, 2008, according to a department news release.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz