A  man was found shot to death early Tuesday morning in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with an Uber sticker in Lincoln Heights, the latest in a rash of shootings in Eastside neighborhoods.

The Los Angeles Times reported the unidentified man was found in a Toyota sedan on the 2900 block of Broadway. It was not known if he was an Uber driver.

The Times said that police who responded shortly after 2 a.m. to a report of shots fired observed four people fleeing in an SUV and chased them onto the 10 Freeway. California Highway Patrol officers chased the vehicle and eventually stopped it, at 3:15 a.m., in Hacienda Heights. Four people were taken into custody.

This was the third fatal shooting reported in or near Boyle Heights in less than a week. On Sunday a teen couple died in a crash following an apparent gang-related shooting near Prospect Park. And on Saturday, a teen was killed by LAPD officers during a confrontation.

Armed gang attack

An 18-year-old pregnant teen and her 19-year-old boyfriend died Sunday morning in what police say was a gang-related incident. The two died after someone opened fire into their car and they crashed their vehicle into a Boyle Heights home.

According to family members cited by ABC7,  María Córdova and Henry Sánchez were expecting a child. The young woman was three months pregnant, they said.

A third passenger in the vehicle survived the crash.

On Monday, police investigators told the Los Angeles Times the shooting was a gang attack on three Latino teens unfamiliar with Boyle Heights. The newspaper said the 19-year-old driver was from El Monte.

The vehicle crashed into a home on Pleasant Avenue. Photo courtesy of The Eastsider.
The vehicle crashed into a home on Pleasant Avenue. Photo courtesy of The Eastsider.

According to the Times, the couple and their friend were having lunch at Prospect Park before dropping off the pregnant teen at work. The survivor told police they noticed a black SUV circling the park and that they became nervous and decided to leave. The SUV followed them South on Echandia Street and when they arrived at a traffic light on César Chávez Avenue, around 11 a.m., the SUV pulled up alongside the victims’ white sedan.

Police say someone got off the passenger’s side of the SUV and shot at the sedan’s driver. The shooter got back on the SUV and the vehicle sped west on César Chávez. The sedan then accelerated south on Echandia, picked up speed as it barrelled downhill and crashed into the house on Pleasant Avenue.

The young woman died at the scene while the driver was taken to a hospital where he died.

A third teen died in a shooting incident this weekend in Boyle Heights. On Sunday, police said LAPD officers killed a 16-year-old boy during a confrontation Saturday night near Lorena and 6th Streets. Police believe the teen, identified as José Méndez, was armed and driving a stolen vehicle.

Uptick in violent crime

A number of shootings have been reported in recent weeks in Boyle Heights. On January 8, a 37-year-old man was shot and killed in the 2000 block of East 2nd Street. Police say Roberto Eli Gutiérrez was sitting in his car when a person approached and shot him.

A month earlier, on Dec. 9, 20-year-old Mitchell Maya was shot and killed on the 700 block of North Breed Street, not far from his home.

The Los Angeles Times’ Homicide Report counts seven people killed in Boyle Heights in the last 12 months. In December, LAPD reported a 19.9% increase in violent crime throughout Los Angeles in 2015, compared to figures from the year before. Police said it was the second year in a row violent crime was up in the city.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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