An 18-year-old identified as Nicole Zuniga was killed in a Glassell Park shooting that put a 21-year-old companion in a hospital in critical condition, authorities said.
The attack last night doesn't appear to be gang related so far, and the area is neutral turf, LAPD Lt. David Kowalski told the Weekly. The notorious and deadly Avenues Gang ruled Drew Street a few blocks to the north, but Kowalski said reports of an insurgency by rival sets are exaggerated, he said.
The shooting happened …
… about 8:55 last night in the 3200 block of Verdugo Road, police said: The two were shot as they stood outside a residence.
Zuniga was declared dead at the scene, Kowalski said: The 21-year-old man was taken to County-USC Medical Center.
“I wouldn't speculate that it's gang related yet,” he told us. “The victims don't appear to be involved in gang activity. And it's neutral territory.”
He said reports that nearby gangs were moving in on Avenues turf in the area as a result of that set being crippled by heavy policing, gang prosecutions and a city decimation of their Drew Street hangout were not true:
We have no information that would lead us to believe that there's any trend that anyone is targeting Avenues.
Anyone with information on this homicide was asked to call the LAPD Northeast Division at 323-344-5701.
[Added]: Our editor notes that the area of the shooting is gentrifying and is home to the hipster hot spot Verdugo Bar just down the block from the attack.