1 dead, two wounded returning from church in car-to-car shooting

- Investigators were reviewing surveillance video from a car-to-car shooting on the Gardena-Hawthorne border that killed the driver of one car and wounded two of his passengers, authorities said today.

The victims were returning from a church function in Torrance when the shooting took place about 2:14 a.m. Sunday at Rosecrans Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, according to the sheriff's department.

Witnesses said four people were in the targeted vehicle, which was traveling east on Rosecrans Avenue, according to sheriff's Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez.

The victim, identified by the coroner's office as 20-year-old William Fifita of Adelanto, was struck in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene, Navarro-Suarez said.

Two male passengers also suffered upper body gunshot wounds and were taken to a hospital, according to Navarro-Suarez, who said a woman in the vehicle was not injured. The wounded victims' conditions were not available, she said.

The vehicle entered the left turn lane at Crenshaw Boulevard and was stopped at a red light when a dark-colored sedan pulled alongside and at least one occupant opened fire, the deputy said.

The vehicle then came to rest in a parking lot at the northeast corner of the intersection as the suspect car took off, heading east on Rosecrans and out of view, she said.

A description of the suspects was not available and its unclear if the shooting was gang-related, Navarro-Suarez said. Some observers said the shooting might have been racially motivated, according to a videographer at the
scene. The shots were fired from a white Kia Rio, the videographer said.

The shooting happened in Hawthorne, but the vehicle came to rest in Gardena, a deputy said. Sheriff's homicide detectives were assisting Hawthorne police in the investigation.

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