EL MONTE >> A man clung to life Saturday after he was shot while setting up a birthday party for his young daughter at an El Monte park, authorities said.
The victim, described as a man in his 30s, was hospitalized in critical and unstable condition following the shooting, which took place just before 6 a.m. at Baldwin Avenue Mini Park, 3750 Baldwin Ave., El Monte police Lt. Ernie Kramer said.
“He was at the park setting up for a party. He heard a gunshot and saw a suspect running through the park,” the lieutenant said.
The man briefly chased after the shooter before realizing he had been wounded in the back.
Witnesses in the neighborhood reported hearing gunfire just before the victim himself called 911 to report he had been shot.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital for treatment, Kramer said. His condition remained extremely serious after undergoing several surgeries.
The man was alone at the small park setting up for a birthday party for his daughter when the shooting took place, officials said. Family members and guests had not yet arrived.
He collapsed near the front gate of the park, police said. It appeared he was trying to make it to his car.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau were summoned to take over the investigation due to the life-threatening injuries suffered by the victim, Kramer said.
No further details, including a description of the shooter, were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.