UPDATED: 18-year-old Whittier man shot to death in Pico Rivera


PICO RIVERA >> A man died at the scene of an early-morning shotgun attack in a residential neighborhood Sunday, according to officials and a witness.
Joseph Richard Flores, 18, of Whittier died at the scene of the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Few details were available regarding the fatal shooting, which Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said occurred about 12:40 a.m. in the 9200 block of Claymore Street, near Serapis Avenue.
“Detectives have learned that deputies from Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station responded to a gun shot victim call, and when they arrived, they found the victim lying in the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds,” deputies from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
Flores died at the scene.
No suspect description was known, officials said, and no further information was released.
Friend Bryan Vargas said Flores had just been dropped off on the street to visit when he was shot.
Vargas said he saw his friend down the street and he began walking over toward Vargas’s home. The friend said he went back inside the house.
As Flores reached the sidewalk along Claymore Street, Vargas said he heard a car pull up to him and someone get out.
An attacker asked him where he was from, a common gang challenge, and there was a brief exchange of words before the shooter opened fire, Vargas said. Vargas said he emerged from the home to find his friend shot in the face with a shotgun, and did not get a view of the killer or the vehicle.
Flores was not involved with gangs, Vargas said.
“He was a very good kid. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He always had a smile on his face,” he said. “I can’t believe it.”
The young man had a good sense of humor and spent much of his time with his girlfriend, Vargas said.
Four days before the fatal shooting, Vargas said he advised his friend not to walk to a relative’s home in the middle of the night because it was dangerous, but Flores couldn’t be persuaded otherwise.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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