By Edwin Folven, 1/17/2013
A 19-year-old man was shot and killed early Sunday morning during a melee outside the Empire Club in Hollywood. Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department are hoping witnesses to the shooting will come forward and help identify the gunman.
Lt. Marc Reina, with the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, said a large fight erupted shortly after 2 a.m. in front of the nightclub at 1716 N. Cahuenga Blvd. Reina said investigators are still trying to determine what prompted the fight, which involved 40 to 50 men and women, and spilled out on to Cahuenga Boulevard.
Media reports have indicated that some women had been involved in an altercation inside the club before the crowd went outside around closing time. During the fight, an unknown male suspect pulled out a gun and fired multiple times at the victim, Reina said.
“[The victim] was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead,” Reina said. “There was a female victim who was also struck in the leg. It was a graze wound and she was treated and released.”
Paramedics took another man to the hospital who was suffering from bruises and cuts on his face, and that victim was later released, the lieutenant said. Several other people suffered minor injuries but did not require hospitalization.
No arrests were made, and police are interviewing potential witnesses in an attempt to identify the gunman. The suspect was described as being an African American man wearing a grey sweatshirt.
Police have not released the name of the victim, but identified him as being a 19 year old resident of South Los Angeles. Reina said he was not aware of any previous problems at the location, and that there was no special event occurring at the nightclub. He said police would first conduct the murder investigation, but would later examine whether the nightclub was following proper procedures in checking IDs and following other laws. Reina said he did not know whether the victim had been inside the nightclub.
“We always look at the location to see if there are any ongoing problems,” he said. “They do have security, but I am not sure if they have metal detectors or wands that they use to check people. We don’t know if he carried [the gun] into the club or if he retrieved it from a car. It’s an ongoing investigation.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the LAPD’s Hollywood Division at (213)972-2972, or the LAPD’s West Bureau Homicide Unit at (213)473-0277.