Man found dead Sunday near 5th and Rose was the victim of a “three-on-one fight”

By Gary Walker

A 25-year-old man found dead Sunday night in an alley near 5th and Rose avenues in Venice may have been a victim of gang-related violence perpetrated by members of a gang he was also associated with, according to police.

LAPD officers responding to emergency calls found the man at around 7:20 p.m. and firefighter paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, LAPD Pacific Division Capt. James Setzer said. Police have already apprehended one person of interest for questioning, he said.

“The case is leaning toward a murder investigation, as the initial investigation has determined there was a three-on-one fight in the alley. Our victim was overwhelmed by the three suspects,” Setzer said. “All four are members or associates of the same gang. Therefore, we see no general threat within the Venice community.”

Setzer later identified the gang as Venice 13. Contrary to breaking television news reports, he said the  homeless encampments emanating from Rose and 3rd were unrelated to the crime.

Operations-West Bureau Homicide detectives and the Pacific Gang Detail are actively working the case. Detectives are canvassing the area for witnesses and possible video evidence of the crime. Police did not find any weapons at the scene and have not released a description of possible suspects.

Sunday’s killing comes about a month after 29-year-old Venice resident Lavell Harris was shot to death less than half a mile away. There have been no arrests in that case, and police are not sure if Harris’ murder was gang-related.

Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to call West Bureau Homicide Detectives at (213) 382-9470 or report information anonymously via (800) 222-TIPS [8477].