Two men who perished in Glassell Park after a drive-by shooting on Cypress Avenue Saturday were gang members who were tagging in Cypress Park and were targeted by members of a rival gang, according to Los Angeles Police Department Northeast Division Capt. Jeff Bert.
Bert told a meeting of the Community Policing Advisory Board at the Northeast Station Monday evening that the older of the two victims, Alfred Lopez, 32, was released from prison recently after serving a long sentence for violent crime.
Neither Lopez nor the other victim in the shooting, Juan Martinez, 18, lived in Cypress Park, although both were “local” residents, Bert said, stopping short of saying just which neighborhood they lived in.
The captain also refused to name the gang suspected of killing Lopez and Martinez. “The last thing I want is a retaliation,” he said.
The LAPD is seeking the community’s help in apprehending the suspected killers, who were seen driving an older-model green or blue-colored Nissan Altima at the time of the shootings.
The shootings took place at around 3:35 a.m. at Cypress Avenue and Future Street. The victims were traveling in a Ford Explorer along with a third occupant who escaped with minor injuries. The Explorer continued to roll about a mile before it crashed near the intersection of Eagle Rock Boulevard (Cypress Avenue becomes northbound Eagle Rock Boulevard) and Verdugo Road
Saturday's murders raise to three the number of people killed in suspected gang-related drive-by shootings across Northeast L.A. in a little less than two months. On May 28, suspected gang members shot to death Ernesto Ramirez, a 21-year-old Highland Park resident, on the 4700 block of Benner Street, a leafy residential area near Avenue 57 where some of his relatives live. Ramirez's killers are still at large.