LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Three people were killed and four others were injured in three separate -- but possibly related -- shootings in the San Fernando Valley early Sunday.
LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado said at an afternoon news conference that the time and manner in which the shootings occurred were very similar.
CBS2's Art Barron reports, "Police are calling this a major public threat."
The first shooting occurred in the city of San Fernando at 5:50 a.m. in the 1400 block of Celis Street, Preciado said.
The sergeant said a family of five -- on their way to church -- was inside a vehicle when gunfire rang out. When officers arrived on scene, they found all five had been shot, one of which was deceased, and a second person who was in grave condition. The decedent was described as a 22-year-old woman who was wheelchair-reliant.
About 45 minutes later, gunfire was heard in the 13000 block of Borden Avenue in Sylmar. The sergeant said the victim was a Latino who was at the park. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was believed to be between the ages of 25 and 35.
At approximately 6:45 a.m., at the 1200 block of Fillmore Street in Pacoima, an elderly Latina was also shot and killed as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.
"We have three homicides that took place in a very short span," the sergeant said, adding that two agencies were following up on leads.
The sergeant said they are currently searching for two Latinos in a tan or gold sport utility vehicle with tinted windows.
Preciado said witnesses believe the men were in a Tahoe or Suburban "or something of that nature."
"On two of the locations, we do have descriptions and witnesses that give us the information regarding the vehicle and we're looking at the actual manner of the shootings that took place and the timing that leads us to believe that this is the same suspect," the sergeant said.
Barron spoke Sunday with grieving family members trying to make sense of the violence and randomness.
"It's very unexpected and it's very hard on our family," said kin to Gloria Tovar, "She was such an innocent person."
Tovar, the elderly victim, was picking up a friend from church when she was gunned down -- police said she was shot through her car windows.
"She was a Godly person, on her way to church," said Lupe Flores, Tovar's niece. "Loved being with people from the church."
Barron also reported that police were looking into the possibility these two suspect were responsible for two other shootings in the Valley.
A woman was shot and wounded Wednesday as she drove her pickup truck in Atwater Village and a man was shot and killed Thursday in Pacoima. The victim of the Pacoima shooting was found slumped over the wheel of his truck.
Anyone with more information about these cases was urged to call 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).
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