Shaoyan Almazan, Bicyclist Run Down and Fatally Shot, Was Riding in M.S. Gang Turf
It remains a whodunnit for the LAPD, which named the victim of Saturday's attack as 19-year-old Shaoyan Almazan. A friend who was also on a bike was shot in the hand and survived. He was not named.
Here's what we know:
At about 1:20 p.m. on Saturday Almazon was run off the road at South New Hampshire Avenue and San Marino Street in the southeast corner of Koreatown, not far from Vermont Avenue, according to the LAPD and news reports.
Cops would only say that one gunman opened fire on the victim: TV news crews at the scene said that two or three men jumped out of the white SUV when the bicyclist was attacked.
A male who was riding with the Almazon was shot in his hand and went to the 800 block of South Vermont Avenue to call for help.
Almazon was declared dead at the scene. Witnesses reported hearing more than six rounds.
Here's where the news coverage might have missed some background however:
The neighborhood was described as peaceful and almost crime-free. Some asked if this was another case of road rage against bicyclists.
While crime and shootings have been down almost everywhere in L.A., what the reporters failed to note is that San Marino Street between Vermont and Western avenues is ground zero for one of the largest and most-ruthless gangs in the world, Mara Salvatrucha, or M.S.
On the east side of Hoover Street is an archenemy, 18th Street, although the two superpowers of the streets have been relatively at peace lately, and gangs sometimes target their own for various reasons.
Road rage? Innocent victims? Wrong place, wrong time? All possible.
We're sure this is all background that hasn't been lost on the LAPD.
They want your help. If you know anything, dial detectives at 213-382-9470.