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Ernesto Valerdi Cervantes, 19

Ernesto Cervantes, a 19-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Sunday, July 31, in the 200 block of North Alma Avenue in East Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Cervantes was walking south on the residential street around 3:28 a.m. when he passed a house where there was a party and some people standing in the frontyard, said Lt. Eddie Hernandez. 

Witnesses told investigators that Cervantes “exchanged some brief words with the individuals,” said Hernandez. “There was no loud arguing – something was said to somebody about something, and then shots rang out.” 

Investigators believe at least two people in the frontyard opened fire on Cervantes, Hernandez said. “The victim was seen running a short distance, and then he collapsed in the middle of the street,” he said. 

Cervantes was pronounced dead at the scene at 4 a.m. with multiple gunshot wounds, according to coroner’s records. 

Investigators are looking at the possibility that Cervantes returned fire. Some cars on the street were hit by stray gunfire, Hernandez said, but no weapon was found on Cervantes, and there is no indication of the house being struck by bullets. 

The gunmen were described only as Latino, Hernandez said.

“We're being told very little,” Hernandez said. “The party was a mix of family and friends, so it’s going to be very difficult to get information from those folks. We’re getting bits and pieces from people who live in the neighborhood, but people are afraid to talk.”

Cervantes was a resident of East Los Angeles, but he lived in another neighborhood, Hernandez said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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