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Tow Truck Driver Gunned Down After Repossessing Car

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A tow truck driver who had just repossessed a car was shot and killed in the street after being chased by a vehicle across several cities in Los Angeles. Jane Yamamoto reports from South Gate for the NBC4 News at 5 on Sunday, July 27, 2014.

    A tow truck driver who had just repossessed a car was shot and killed in the street after being chased by a vehicle across several cities in Los Angeles County early Sunday morning, sheriff's officials said.

    The incident began when a shooting erupted around 3:30 a.m. near a 7-Eleven at Rosecrans and Atlantic avenues in the Compton area, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    Investigators believe the tow truck driver, who was towing a white Dodger Caliber that had been repossessed, was the target in the shooting.

    "We think it’s a repossession that has gone bad," said sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson.

    The driver made it to Firestone Boulevard and Rayo Avenue in South Gate before slamming into a vehicle going through the intersection, officials told NBC4.

    When the tow truck driver got out of his vehicle, at least one person from a car chasing him shot at and killed him, officials said.

    Witnesses reported hearing 10 to 12 rounds.

    The victim was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, Dolson said.

    The tow truck driver was identified by friends as Steve Lawson of Bellflower. He was in his 40s. Friends said he was a husband and father.

    Friends also said Lawson had recently started working at a new repossession company.

    Authorities detained two people but it was unclear if they were connected to the case.

    Homicide detectives were still on scene around 11 a.m. searching for clues of what led to the shooting.

    The victim's daughter showed up at the crime scene at 7-Eleven. She said her father knew the dangers of his job.