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Updated: Two Shot in Glassell Park, One Fatally

Homicide detectives are investigating a possible gang-related shooting on the 3200 block of Verdugo Road.

Tuesday, 3 p.m. Update: The investigation into the death of 18-year-old Nicole Zuniga will be handled by the LAPD Northeast Division Homicide Unit, according to Gang Unit Detective Matthew Eddy, who spoke to Highland Park-Mt. Washington Patch editor David Fonseca.

However, Eddy said the case's assignment to the homicide desk had nothing to do with whether or not police believed the shooting was gang-related.

“It’s because they have more resources to investigate a crime like this,” he said.

Eddy said that homicide detectives had worked through Monday evening into Tuesday afternoon, and could not be reached for comment as of Tuesday at 2:15 p.m.

Homicide detective José Carrillo (see photo) will be part of the investigation, according to Watch Commander Sgt. Roberto Alaniz. Carillo and another detective whose last name is Martin can be reached at (323) 344.5744 for further information and any tips about the case from the public.

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Tuesday Update: An 18-year-old woman was fatally shot and a 21-year-old man critically wounded in Monday night's shooting, which occurred at 3232 Verdugo Rd., Sgt. Roberto Alaniz, the watch commander at the Northeast Community Station, has confirmed.

The woman was identified as Nicole Zuniga. Paramedics treated her shortly after the shooting occurred at 8:55 p.m., but she succumbed to injuries from a single gunshot, Alaniz said, adding that the male victim, Michael Cortez, who was also shot once, was rushed to USC Medical Center, where he is in critical condition.

Detectives are investigating the case, Alaniz said. The watch commander told Patch he was not aware of any motive for the shootings and could not say whether it was gang-related or not.

However, according to an e-mail that Patch from a reader who claimed to be Zuniga's aunt, the shootings were "most definitely gang-related." Cortez was her niece's boyfriend and is "reportedly brain-dead," the reader wrote.

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Update: A woman was killed and a man injured in a shooting around 9 p.m. Monday on the 3200 block of Verdugo Road in Glassell Park, Lt. Teresa Gutierrez, the watch commander at the LAPD Northeast Community Station confirmed.

Homicide detectives were still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting—whether it was a "drive by or someone walked up on them," Gutierrez told Patch, adding that the two victims knew each other and that the shooting did not appear to be connected to the overnight Stanley Cup game between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils.

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Previously: The LAPD Northeast Community Station has unconfirmed reports about the shooting of two people Monday night on the 3200 block of Verdugo Road in Glassell Park—and the possibility that one of the victims, a female, might have been killed.

Officer Young Honor, who answered the phone at the Northeast Station, told Patch that reports of the shooting, which occurred around 8:50 p.m., were still trickling in.

"Everything is chaotic—the captain [Bill Murphy] is on the scene, the detectives are there," Honor said, adding: "It happened right after the King's game—we don't know if it's connected to the game or if it's gang-related or a random shooting."

Patch is following up on the reported shooting. Stay tuned for details.

John Wayne's Honda June 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Not good, isn't this a block from the Verdugo Bar?
Mike June 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
The Verdugo is three blocks away, but I have seen bar patrons walk further than three blocks to get to there cars at 2 am.
VERONICA June 14, 2012 at 07:24 AM
PLEASE HELP BRING MY NIECES KILLER TO JUSTICE.. HER MOTHER CARMEN ZUNIGA DOESN'T DESERVE TO GO THREW SO MUCH PAIN.. NICOLE REST IN PEACE MY SWEET NIECE AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU FROM YOUR AUNT CHATA WHO IS IN LOUISIANA.. I LOVE YOU CARMEN MY BIG SISTER..
Anonymous June 22, 2012 at 10:30 PM
It is very sad to know that someone could shoot theses poor people for no apparent reason. I went to school with Michael Cortez and I'm very sad to know that he is no longer with us and to know that Nicole Zuniga was taken too, even though I didn't know her I'm sure she was an amazing girl to know an amazing guy. R.I.P and I'll keep both families in my prayers.
Tim Ryder August 07, 2012 at 08:05 AM
Hey Bro, check this out. I graphed the crime data from LAPD's website and a clear picture of the crime situation in Glassell Park emerges. The snapshot of crimes committed so far this year shows that the one recent homicide is quite a rare event with most of the recorded crimes being people stealing our stuff. But statistically you still have a better chance of being in a car accident than of being a victim of a crime so I think we need to temper some of the Fear with the actual statistical Reality. In the 'lLand of the Brave', we should not walk around afraid of our own shadow if you know what I mean. http://www.ccuwc.org/no-crime-around-collectives.html

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