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Justin Namor Aguilar, 27

Justin Namor Aguilar, a 27-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Thursday, April 16, in the 10300 block of Woodbine Street in Palms, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

About 3 p.m., Los Angeles police responded to numerous calls of shots fired at Woodbine Park. When officers arrived, they found three men with gunshot wounds, according to a release from the department. Police said the gunman was driving a tan sedan.

Aguilar was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:11 p.m., said Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.

About 20 minutes later, another person was injured in a shooting about one block from the park, said Officer Jack Richter.  Then, another shooting erupted outside a 7-Eleven near National Boulevard and Overland Avenue.

Rafael Rocha, who said he saw an ambush unfold, said a group of men fired from across the shopping center parking lot at two men leaving the convenience store.

“There was no argument, no fighting. They didn’t say anything to each other; they just started shooting,” Rocha, 44, said. “These guys did not care about human life at all."

The LAPD went on a brief citywide tactical alert in response to the shootings. The violence stunned a community whose recently refurbished Woodbine Park – surrounded by homes and apartment buildings – is usually bustling with families and pickup basketball games, neighbors said.

A day after Aguilar was killed, police found the car that was seen driving away from the park. Police then arrested James Pickens, a 35-year-old black man, on suspicion of murder. On April 22, Antwaun Lamont Morrison, a 37-year-old black man, was also arrested on suspicion of murder. Both have been charged with one count of murder, according to the L.A. County district attorney's office.

Police said they have issued an arrest warrant for a third man, who was shot during the incident and is still in the hospital.

Anyone with information is asked to call  West Bureau Homicide at (213) 382-9470. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Los Angeles Times Staff

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