22 Aug 2014
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Updated: Two Shot in Glassell Park, One Fatally

Homicide detectives are investigating a possible gang-related shooting on the 3200 block of Verdugo Road.

Updated: Two Shot in Glassell Park, One Fatally Updated: Two Shot in Glassell Park, One Fatally

Tuesday, 3 p.m. Update: The investigation into the death of 18-year-old Nicole Zuniga will be handled by the LAPD Northeast Division Homicide Unit, according to Gang Unit Detective Matthew Eddy, who spoke to Highland Park-Mt. Washington Patch editor David Fonseca.

However, Eddy said the case's assignment to the homicide desk had nothing to do with whether or not police believed the shooting was gang-related.

“It’s because they have more resources to investigate a crime like this,” he said.

Eddy said that homicide detectives had worked through Monday evening into Tuesday afternoon, and could not be reached for comment as of Tuesday at 2:15 p.m.

Homicide detective José Carrillo (see photo) will be part of the investigation, according to Watch Commander Sgt. Roberto Alaniz. Carillo and another detective whose last name is Martin can be reached at (323) 344.5744 for further information and any tips about the case from the public.

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Tuesday Update: An 18-year-old woman was fatally shot and a 21-year-old man critically wounded in Monday night's shooting, which occurred at 3232 Verdugo Rd., Sgt. Roberto Alaniz, the watch commander at the Northeast Community Station, has confirmed.

The woman was identified as Nicole Zuniga. Paramedics treated her shortly after the shooting occurred at 8:55 p.m., but she succumbed to injuries from a single gunshot, Alaniz said, adding that the male victim, Michael Cortez, who was also shot once, was rushed to USC Medical Center, where he is in critical condition.

Detectives are investigating the case, Alaniz said. The watch commander told Patch he was not aware of any motive for the shootings and could not say whether it was gang-related or not.

However, according to an e-mail that Patch from a reader who claimed to be Zuniga's aunt, the shootings were "most definitely gang-related." Cortez was her niece's boyfriend and is "reportedly brain-dead," the reader wrote.

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Update: A woman was killed and a man injured in a shooting around 9 p.m. Monday on the 3200 block of Verdugo Road in Glassell Park, Lt. Teresa Gutierrez, the watch commander at the LAPD Northeast Community Station confirmed.

Homicide detectives were still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting—whether it was a "drive by or someone walked up on them," Gutierrez told Patch, adding that the two victims knew each other and that the shooting did not appear to be connected to the overnight Stanley Cup game between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils.

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Previously: The LAPD Northeast Community Station has unconfirmed reports about the shooting of two people Monday night on the 3200 block of Verdugo Road in Glassell Park—and the possibility that one of the victims, a female, might have been killed.

Officer Young Honor, who answered the phone at the Northeast Station, told Patch that reports of the shooting, which occurred around 8:50 p.m., were still trickling in.

"Everything is chaotic—the captain [Bill Murphy] is on the scene, the detectives are there," Honor said, adding: "It happened right after the King's game—we don't know if it's connected to the game or if it's gang-related or a random shooting."

Patch is following up on the reported shooting. Stay tuned for details.

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