|HOLLYWOOD — Three carjackers who may have wanted flashy chrome wheels possibly worth $3,000 to $4,000 apiece killed a Long Beach resident Sunday after he got out of his Lexus sedan in Hollywood, police said.|
The shooting occurred about 2:50 a.m. in the 1800 block of Cherokee Avenue, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Jack Richter.
Ryan James Groetken, 25, had just parked the silver 1999 Lexus GS300 when he was confronted by three men, who grabbed his keys, then was shot, said LAPD Officer Lucy Diaz. The suspects left in the Lexus, she added.
Groetken, who suffered a “through-and-through wound” in the lower abdomen, reportedly died during surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He may have been shot in the back, police said.
According to police, Groetken had been to a rap concert featuring rapper 50 cent at the House of Blues, then had gone to a bar afterward.
Police, who reportedly have witnesses to some or all of the crime and some physical evidence as well, said the suspects may have been after the vehicle’s custom wheels.
“They are very expensive,” LAPD Capt. Mike Downing said. “They are somewhere between three and four thousand dollars apiece. They are chrome. They are on some kind of independent bearing, (and) when the car stops, the inner rim continues to spin.”
The car’s license plate number is 4CVB868. Anyone with more information about the crime is asked to call the LAPD’s Hollywood Station at (213) 485- 4302