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At least six people were killed in Los Angeles County in the first 12 hours of the new year--five shot and one stabbed, police said. Vannaly Tim, 24, and her boyfriend, Sarith Em, 25, were shot outside their Signal Hill-area apartment in the 1800 block of Gardenia Street about at 12:40 a.m. January 1, according to Long Beach police. Em, an Iraq war veteran, and Tim went outside to move a car to avoid a parking ticket, and Tim's younger sister, Debi So, heard six gunshots, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.
At first, So thought the shots were part of a New Year's Eve celebration, but she later found Em shot several times in the back and lying in the street on top of Tim. One of the bullets went through Em and lodged in Tim's chest, the Press-Telegram reported.
"Who could just go up and shoot somebody in the back?" So asked.
In Panorama City, Los Angeles police fatally shot a man, ending an early morning standoff. Police said the man, whose name was withheld, had been threatening his family with a gun and firing shots into the air. Lt. John Romero of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section said officers had the Christmas Eve massacre in Covina on their minds as they surrounded the house, evacuated family member and isolated the suspect in the attic of a garage.
"The officers knew there was a man there threatening his family, so you can't help but think about recent incidents when you're responding to that, so that was their primary concern," Romero told NBC4.
On Christmas Eve, a recently divorced 45-year-old man ran amok with guns and a homemade flame-thrower, killing his ex-wife and eight other members of her family, before killing himself. The man killed in Panorama had been confronted by a son about his drinking, the dead man's sister-in-law, Iris Zuniga, told NBC4. In Pomona, Adrienne Davidson, 46, woman told deputies she fatally shot her husband and surrendered at the sheriff's Walnut station about 3:30 a.m.
Ezra Davidson Jr., 46, was found slain at the couple's home on Trabuco Place in the Phillips Ranch area, Pomona police said. At a party in the 3900 block of Avenida del Sol, off Coldwater Canyon Avenue, a young man was fatally shot at close range 4 a.m., according to Los Angeles police at the North Hollywood Station. No immediate arrests were made, and police withheld the dead man's name.
The house where the party was held is believed to be rented by three men, one of whom works in the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Times reported. Neighbors told The Times that invitations had been handed out in the area by a party organizer, asking guests to "dress to impress," but police described the party house as filthy and without furniture.
"Picture the aftermath of the biggest college party," a police source told The Times.
In the Pico-Union district just west of downtown, a man was fatally stabbed in the 1200 block of West Eighth Street shortly after 10 a.m., police said. A second stabbing victim was taken to a hospital and expected to live. The New Year's Day killings in the city of Los Angeles, at the rate of at least one every two hours, are at odds with year-end statistics that showed a 27 percent drop in homicides in 2008 compared to the previous year.