Police said a 25-year-old man who died Sunday night near 5th and Rose avenues in Venice may have been murdered by fellow gang members.

Three men fought with and overwhelmed the man, said James Setzer, captain of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division. LAPD officers found the man in an alley at 7:20 p.m. and paramedics pronounced him dead. Setzer said all four men were members of the Venice 13 gang, but a description of possible suspects has not been released.

The county coroner has not yet determined a cause of death and police did not find a weapon at the scene, he added.

Homicide and gang detectives are investigating the case, searching the area for witnesses and reviewing video evidence of the crime. Setzer said video evidence shows no residents of a nearby homeless encampment were involved in the killing, contrary to early television news reports.

Last month, 29-year-old Lavell Harris of Venice was shot to death near 5th Avenue and Broadway. Police said they are unsure if Harris’ murder was gang-related and have not made any arrests in the case.

Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to call West Bureau Homicide Detectives at (213) 382-9470 or report information anonymously via (800) 222-TIPS [8477].

madeleine@smdp.com

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