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Four people in Los Angeles killed by gunfire in 12-hour span

August 23, 2009 | 12:41 pm

Four people across the city were killed by gunfire in a 12-hour span, police said today.

One person was found dead about 7 a.m. in Glassell Park, and three people were killed in separate shootings Saturday night in Gramercy Park, West Adams and Hyde Park, authorities said.

Los Angeles police said the man who was found dead early today, in the 3400 block of Drew Street, appeared to be about 35. He had a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. He has not been identified.

The first of Saturday night’s three shootings occurred at 8:10 p.m. in the 1700 block of West Century Boulevard when Samuel Leonard walked out of a liquor store to go to his car and was confronted by another man, said Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Leonard, 22, was shot multiple times without provocation and tried to flee on foot. He collapsed at a nearby McDonald’s. The suspect fled in a red pickup truck, Eisenman said. Leonard was taken to a hospital, where he died, Eisenman said.

About 10 minutes later in the West Adams district, a man was shot and killed as he approached the front door of a home in the 2900 block of Rimpau Boulevard, police said. Larick Matheson, 58, was apparently trying to pick up a car key from someone in the home, police said. The suspect was standing in the driveway when Matheson came to the home with a friend, Eisenman said.

When Matheson got out of the car, the suspect approached him and shot him multiple times before fleeing on foot, Eisenman said. Matheson was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Another man was shot and killed just before midnight in Hyde Park, police said. In that incident, three people were standing outside in the 6400 block of 7th Avenue when someone emerged from a vehicle and began firing a rifle at them.

One man, Brandon Jamal Perry, 17, was shot in the face. He was transported to a hospital, where he died. A second victim was shot in the back and a third was shot in the leg, Eisenman said. Both were receiving medical care at the same hospital.  [UPDATE: Police said a fourth person was also shot and was treated at the scene and released. The second and third victims were expected to survive, police said.]

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Related: The Homicide Report