Los Angeles: Los Angeles detectives are asking the public’s help in providing any information related to a fatal shooting that left one man dead, and at least two other men wounded outside a downtown nightclub early this morning, January 4, 2008.
"The shooting appears related to a fight that started inside the nightclub on the dance floor," said Lieutenant Paul Vernon, head of detectives for the Central Police Station. "After a young girl was stabbed in the arm, patrons began leaving in large numbers. That's when a man with a gun started shooting at other men in the parking lot."
The incident began around 1:30 in the morning at the LA Crash Mansion, a newly re-opened and re-named nightclub at Olympic Boulevard and Grand Avenue. According to detectives, the woman who was stabbed in the arm was not seriously injured. The exodus of patrons from the club turned into a melee in the adjacent parking lot when one man began shooting at several other men.
Joseph Cosina, 19, who lived in Downey, was shot multiple times. He died later at California Hospital. Two other men, both in their twenties, were each shot once. They, as well as the woman who was stabbed, were treated at California Hospital. They are expected to recover from their injuries.
Detectives are questioning several witnesses to the fight inside and the shooting. They recovered bullet shells in the parking lot.
Officers at the scene received little in the way of suspect description other than a Hispanic man.
The majority of the patrons were between 18 and 20 years old. The nightclub was apparently operating as an over-eighteen club. "We will be looking closely at the business practices here with our Vice Unit and the City Attorney’s Office," Lt. Vernon added. "We've had other disturbances at this same location before it closed down under the name, Grand Avenue Club."
This shooting is the first homicide of the year in downtown. Last year, homicides dropped to 7, five fewer than the previous year. Shooting incidents dropped 23 percent, and shooting victims dropped 53 percent in 2007.
Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD’s Central Homicide Unit at 213-972-1254. Persons can also call the 24-hour hotline number, 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).