A man and woman were killed and another man was injured in a shooting in an unincorporated area near South Los Angeles late Friday night, police said.

Deputies responded to Firestone Boulevard and Graham Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. for a report of a man who had been shot, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

They found a man and woman lying in the street and on the sidewalk, police said. Both had been shot in the upper torso and were pronounced dead at the scene, according to investigators.

The deputies then found a man who had been shot in the leg, police said. He was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, they said.

The victims’ identities were not immediately released, and a motive for the crime was unclear. Detectives canvassed the area for witnesses and video surveillance, the sheriff’s office said. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

The deaths come amid a two-year rise in homicides that has been felt in Los Angeles and elsewhere across the country. The parts of L.A. County patrolled by the sheriff’s department, which include unincorporated areas as well as cities such as Lakewood, Lancaster and West Hollywood, had 199 murders in 2020, an increase of roughly 37% from 2019, when there were 145 homicides, according to the sheriff’s department. Data for 2021 were not immediately available.

That mirrors a nationwide trend. Homicides have been rising since 2020, when the U.S. murder rate increased by nearly 30% from 2019, according to FBI data. Though the increase was the largest since such record keeping began in 1960, the rate still remains lower than it was in the early 1990s.

The trend appears to have persisted through 2021 in some large cities, including Los Angeles, where homicides are up 46.7% compared with 2019, while shooting victims are up 51.4%, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department. As of the end of November, there had been 359 homicides in L.A. in 2021, compared with 355 in all of 2020. There have not been more homicides in one year since 2008, which ended with 384.

Times staff writers Kevin Rector, Richard Winton and Andrew J. Campa contributed to this report.





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