Detectives Treating Death of Man Found in El Monte as 'Suspicious'

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EL MONTE (CNS) - The fatal shooting of a man inside a vehicle in El Monte was being investigated today as a suspicious death.

Officers from the El Monte Police Department responded to a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Elliot Avenue, Meeker Avenue and Mountain View Road at about 7:35 p.m. Monday and discovered a man in one of the vehicles with a gunshot wound to the head, said Deputy Tracy Koerner of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department's Information Bureau. A handgun was found in the vehicle, Koerner said.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriffs' homicide investigators, who are assisting El Monte in the death investigation, learned that a woman -- possibly an occupant of the vehicle -- had gotten out of the vehicle and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Koerner said.

Although detectives initially suspected the man had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound prior to the collision, the case is now being treated as a suspicious death investigation, Koerner said.

The driver and three passengers -- a father, mother and two children -- in the other vehicle were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The mother, who detectives say is pregnant, was staying at the hospital for further observation.

Anyone with information about the victim's death or the collision was asked to contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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