LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A man was killed and a church security guard was injured Wednesday night when a gunman fired at them in South Los Angeles.
The shooting happened in the 8800 block of South Vermont Avenue shortly before 7 p.m. outside of the 88th Street Temple Church of God in Christ.
Police said a church security guard and a man, identified as 36-year-old John Matthews, were talking outside the church gates when a gunman approached them, said a few words to the men and then opened fire. Both were transported to an area hospital, where Matthews was pronounced dead and the guard was listed in fair condition.
Investigators believe the gunman is a gang member. They do not believe the victims had any gang ties and the reason for the shooting remains a mystery.
Matthews' friends said he was a good man and believe Matthews may have been mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Detectives have not confirmed whether that could be a possible motive.
"He wasn't a bad man. He wasn't a gang member. He was an innocent family man," said Matthews' friend, Crystal Elias.
"Where we live at, everybody's thinking everybody is a gang member," said Leo Cisneros. "You either have to have a suit on or a uniform going to work for you not to get shot or to come up to and be harassed."
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- KABC, South Los Angeles shooting: 1 killed, church security guard injured, abclocal.go.com/kabc
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Category: Church Security