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James Gustavo Rodriguez, 29

James Gustavo Rodriguez, a 29-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Friday, Dec. 15, in the 8500 block of Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City, according to Los Angeles Police homicide investigators.  

Shortly after 3 a.m., Rodriguez, a resident of Panorama City, was sitting on a bus stop bench with another Panorama City resident, Elvis Sanchez, 31, when someone began shooting, said LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Det. Dave Peteque. Both men were struck by gunfire.

“They had their little music players out, and they were just sitting on the bench at 3 in the morning on Van Nuys Boulevard,” Peteque said. 

The bench is in front of a Denny’s restaurant, where the men had gone earlier to use the restroom, Peteque said. A waitress and a couple of customers heard the gunfire, he said, but no one has reported seeing the shooting. 

Rodriguez was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:50 a.m., according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:42 a.m., according to coroner’s records. 

Peteque said investigators aren’t releasing any information about the suspects, but they think the shooting may be gang-related. 

Sanchez was a gang member, Peteque said, but there’s no evidence that Rodriguez had any gang involvement. 

The two victims knew each other, police said, but investigators don’t know how well or for how long. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call LAPD’s Valley Bureau Homicide at (818) 374-1934. 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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