Two slain may have been robbing home where police later found drugs, guns and cash, LBPD says

Two people killed in a shooting near the Traffic Circle Saturday evening may have been trying to rob residents at a home where there were drugs, guns and money stashed, police said today.

Authorities say they’re still trying to determine exactly what happened, but the shooter reportedly told police he was in his home when around six people forced their way inside and he shot at them.

The self-identified shooter called police to tell them what happened around 5 p.m., and officers rushed to the home in the 3700 block of Esther Street, which is a block south of Pacific Coast Highway and three blocks west of the Traffic Circle, according to the LBPD.

When authorities arrived, they found one person shot to death inside the home and another fatally wounded on the front walkway, police said in a statement.

Neighbor Donn Moscer said he saw a man down in front of the house and “saw guys running from there to a car.” Police say those men, believed to be other alleged robbers, fled and haven’t been found.

The two wounded people, both male, died at the scene, authorities said. The coroner’s office identified one of them as a 17-year-old named DeCorion Sanders. Police declined to publicly identify the suspected shooter, saying they’re still trying to determine if he is actually a victim.

Police said they were able to preliminarily confirm that multiple people indeed barged into the home and a man shot at them, hitting two of them.

“The residents involved have been cooperating with the investigation, which remains ongoing,” police said in a statement. “At this time, the investigation to determine if the residents were a victim of the crime is underway, and their identities are not yet being released.”

When officers searched the home, they found “large quantities of marijuana, firearms, and cash,” police said.

Police say they’re working to determine who’s responsible for those items and whether anyone should be charged with a crime in connection with them.

Police said they’re still investigating a motive for the suspected robbers, but “detectives believe there is gang involvement.”

“At this time, there is no indication that the resident is known to the suspects,” police said.

Curious neighbors gathered around the scene Saturday, not used to seeing such a serious crime scene in their area.

The block is quiet for the most part, according to neighbors, but the home where the shooting happened was known as a “drug house,” Moscer said.

Staff writer Sebastian Echeverry contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the identity of one person who was shot to death.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.
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