Update: The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Shoichi Joe Minesaki of Sylmar. Originally posted June 6 at 9 a.m.

Just after 1:30 a.m. this morning, a cyclist in his 20s was fatally gunned down in North Hollywood by a white van full of suspected gang members, City News Service reports.

Miraculously, the van was spotted by an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy directly after the shooting. Equally miraculous is the fact that all the drive-by suspects (four to six of them) were able to escape the deputy…

… and abandon the van several blocks east of the crime scene before LAPD officers could swoop in for an arrest.

The victim was riding along Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Valley Plaza Park and a local middle school when ABC7 reports that a van rolled up behind him, near Vanowen Street. The suspects then jumped out of the vehicle and shot the young man once in his upper torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

After being radio-ed by the sheriff's deputy, a LAPD helicopter spotted the getaway van involved in the murder a few blocks away, at Tyrone Avenue and Sherman Way:

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Police have been questioning neighbors about the murder all morning, and are also “investigating at a parking garage of an apartment building near where the shooting occurred.” The full ABC7 report:

We'll update with the victim's name as soon as next-of-kin have been notified.


LA Weekly