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Jose Merino, 58

Jose Merino, a 58-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Sunday, May 9, at 55th Street and Loma Vista Avenue in Maywood, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Merino discovered that one of his parked vehicles was struck in a hit-and-run and went searching for the driver early Sunday morning, said sheriff's homicide Det. Martin Rodriguez, who is handling the investigation. In his search, Merino, a resident of Maywood, began driving through an active gang territory when he was shot at an intersection, Rodriguez said.

Although wounded Merino continued driving west for about a quarter to half a mile when his car struck two parked vehicles near Maywood and 55th Street, Rodriguez said. Residents heard the crash and called authorities.

Paramedics initially believed Merino was injured because of the traffic collision, Rodriguez said, however when they pulled him from the car they found that he had several gunshot wounds.

Authorities pronounced Merino dead at the scene at 4:35 a.m., according to coroner's records.

Investigators said there were no witnesses to the shooting and there were no leads to any suspects.

Anyone with information about the death of Jose Merino is asked to contact Det. Rodriguez at the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

-- Sarah Ardalani

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