Two parishioners were shot, one fatally, after they tried to stop a pair of gang affiliates from continuing to tag up their small Filipinotown church last night, police said.
A man believed to be in his late 40s died at a hospital, LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman told the Weekly. The other target, a man in his 20s, was hospitalized in unknown condition, she said.
Cops told us it appeared that affiliates of one gang were tagging on the turf of another:
The attack was reported at 6:30 p.m. yesterday at the church at Temple and Reno streets, according to the LAPD's Rampart Division.
A detective told us that the two parishioners had come outside to confront the taggers when they were shot. The suspects were tagging on church wall, says the Rampart Division.
One suspect "immediately opened fire," police told us; "several rounds" were shot.
The church was identified in reports as Movimiento Pentocostal Hispano.
The detective told us the graffiti was for the Rockwood gang, which has a presence in the area: Rockwood Street is just north of Beverly Boulevard at Union Street, but the gang also has a clique at Westmorland Avenue and First Street, sandwiching a larger gang, Temple Street.
In fact, the church is in Temple Street territory, the detective acknowledged. The Rockwood gang was the target of a "nuisance abatement" crackdown by the L.A. City Attorney's office early this year.
Suspects fled in a silver SUV or sedan, Eisenman said. Know who they might be? Call detectives at 213-484-3650.
[Update at 5:45 p.m.]: In a statement released tonight the LAPD now says the younger of the two victims was the one who died. He was ID'd as 25-year-old Andres Ordonez.
We got the location wrong: It was at Beverly Boulevard (not Temple) and Reno Street.
Police say the tagger was a female and that ...
Both victims approached the suspect in an effort to get her to stop spray painting. During the exchange of words a second suspect exited a stopped vehicle and fired multiple shots at both victims, striking them. Both suspects re-entered the waiting vehicle and drove away from the scene.
The second victim is said to be stable.