Guest Describes Shooting Rampage at Party That Left One Dead, Eight Wounded
Last night, violence erupted at a party in South Los Angeles. One man went on a shooting rampage that killed one and left eight people wounded.
Armando Valencia, 26, left the party shaken but mostly unscathed. He was hit by a casing or a ricocheted bullet that drew blood, but he was well enough to talk to an L.A. Times reporter over a breakfast special at Tommy's.
"It was sudden, out of nowhere," said Valencia, a computer technician. "He started shooting. People were panicking, running, dropping to the floor, including myself. All the fences were toppled. It was chaos."
Valencia got the party invite via text message, like he does a couple weekends a month. He and his friends didn't know anyone at the party, but they showed up anyway: "They're all over L.A. The word just spreads at the last minute."
When he got to the party at 47th and Main, the party was popping. There was a DJ, and the backyard was crowded with people dancing. Then just before midnight, a gun went off. Valencia was about a 12 feet from the shooter. He didn't see the man, but he felt bullets whizzing by.
"You can hear the sound of it, then hear the impact. It was wild," he told the Times.
Devon Hakilmy, 19, of Los Angeles was killed, and two women were critically wounded. The rest suffered serious wounds and were transported to a hospital. Authorities cordoned off the area around the party after the shooting. One man, whose name hasn't been released, is being held.
Authorities believe the shooting involved an argument about a woman.