1 injured, vehicles damaged in Sunday morning shootings

Two men were hospitalized after being struck by gunfire while driving in Central Long Beach on Sunday morning, police said.

Officers were dispatched to the area of Locust Avenue near 21st Street at around 10:50 a.m. where they found the two victims, who were driving in a vehicle in the area. Another driver from the assailant’s vehicle fired gunshots at the driver and front passenger, striking the front passenger, police said.

The front passenger, a 28-year-old man, was transported to a local hospital by the Long Beach Fire Department, authorities said. He sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the upper body, police said. The driver, a 29-year-old man, was not injured.

In addition to the two victims, three parked and unoccupied vehicles were struck by gunfire, police said. Officers said they also found bullet casings.

Police said the passenger who was shot was “uncooperative,” and that police believe the motive to be “gang-related,” which LBPD defines as any crime committed “for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with any criminal street gang.”

Less than an hour earlier at around 10 a.m., officers were dispatched to the area of Orange Avenue by 19th Street near the Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus in Central Long Beach for a call on shots fired.

Police said they did not find any victims, but found that a parked and unoccupied vehicle was struck by the gunfire. They have not identified a motive at this time.

The investigations for both shootings remain ongoing, police said.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.