BELL GARDENS – CBSLA — An investigation continues Thursday morning into a deadly shooting during an apparently botched robbery at a Bell Gardens marijuana dispensary.
Later, it was revealed that the business was an illegal dispensary operating out of a mobile repair shop called “Mobile Geeks.”
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Just before 8 p.m. on Wednesday, gunshots were heard at 5845 Florence Ave. Two men were found inside the business with gunshot wounds by officers responding to the call.
Detectives on the spot said that the clerk on duty had been held at gunpoint, while others tossed pot jars into bags they planned to steal.
“It was clear some type of gun fight had occurred there, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Derrick Alfred, noting the “extensive damage, windows shot out, bullet holes and some cars were struck that were parked along the roadway.”
One 17-year-old was declared dead on the spot, while the other, who was 21 at the time, was taken to the hospital in unspecified condition. Both were believed to have been involved in the robbery at the time they were shot.
The scene was also robbed by a third person.
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Surveillance footage from the scene showed two other suspects, one outside the store, donning ski masks just before the bullets started to fly. They were seen running away from the scene with several others involved in the shooting.
The attempted robbery took place across the street from Bell Gardens Intermediate School. This middle school is home to over 1,000 students.
“It’s kind of scary, it’s across the street from a school,”One individual spoke with CBS reporters at the scene on Thursday afternoon. He and his friend pointed out the proximity of the school and the danger it presented to the children.
Authorities have not released any information on suspects or suspect vehicles. The shooting is being investigated as gang-related.
They also disclosed that this was at the very least the third attempted burglary at a marijuana dispensary. This turned into an attack that turned into a shooting that turned to murder.
“It’s not uncommon these days, to have these marijuana shops robbed,”Alfred continued. “They have a lot of marijuana and a lot of cash on hand.”
Los Angeles Police Department records echo that statement, revealing that more than 700 people were arrested in similar incidents in 2021. They also revealed that illegal dispensaries were seized more than $2,000,000 and more than 250,000 pounds of cannabis during the same time period.
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Anyone with information about the shooting can contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.