Student hospitalized after shot in neck along Lindley Avenue

Monica Duester

A 20-year-old computer engineering student is in serious condition after he was shot in the neck on Lindley Avenue on June 29.

Police said that two masked men approached Francisco Javier Magallanes on the driver’s side of his vehicle and shot him while he tried to drive away at 10:15 p.m.

Magallanes managed to drive a couple of car lengths before crashing into several parked vehicles in front of the Townhome Apartments on Lindley Avenue, between Devonshire and Kingsbury Avenues, police said.

Detective John Doerbecker of the Devonshire Community Police Station said witnesses saw the two men run southbound on Lindley Avenue while a dark-colored SUV that dropped off the assailants traveled northbound.

Witnesses have also stated that they saw the two men jump the fence into the Granada Hills High School. Doerbecker is in the process of obtaining the high school’s security camera footage.

Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Barbara Riggs said witnesses assisted Magallanes until the police arrived.

“He (Magallanes) was able to give statements to a couple of witnesses and police officers before being rushed to Northridge Hospital,” Riggs said.

Friends said Magallanes, who is a member of the Beta Gamma Nu fraternity, was leaving his apartment to spend the night at his girlfriend’s place less than a mile away.

Miguel Gonzalez, fraternity founder and friend, said he was staying at Magallanes’ apartment and was there the night of the shooting.

“I was devastated when I heard the news,” Gonzalez said. “He is a good kid and didn’t deserve this.”

Edwin Cavajal, a CSUN alumnus and BGN fraternity member, was with Magallanes earlier that day on Sunday at the Dodgers v. Angels game.

“We had fun like we normally do, and I’ve never known him to get mixed up with the wrong crowd,” Cavajal said. “He comes from a great, hard-working family from the Coachella Valley, and it is more than a shock to hear this type of news regarding one of my brothers.”

Cavajal said he always thought the Granada Hills High School area was a safe place, but that it proves crime can occur anywhere.

Doerbecker said they have no leads and are unable to speak with Magallanes because he is in a medically induced unconscious-state.

Neighbors say he was going to school, working, and that he is an overall good guy.

Magallanes is in the intensive care unit at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. His family and girlfriend have been by his side since the first night, Gonzalez said.

“The bullet is lodged in his neck,” said Gonzalez, who is in direct contact with his parents and who has visited the hospital several times.

Gonzalez said that the doctors are debating if they should remove the bullet from his vertebrae because they say it could potentially make the situation worse.

“He (Magallanes) already has a high chance of being paralyzed because of where the bullet struck,” said Gonzalez, so they are just taking it day-by-day.

Riggs said the motive is unclear, as nothing was stolen from the victim, he is not associated with any gangs and it did not seem to be a case of road-rage.

“By all accounts, it is very random,” Riggs said.

When asked if she thought the case was solvable, Riggs said she is not worried that it will not be solved because people will start talking and that will eventually produce leads that will crack the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Devonshire Community Police Station at (818) 832-0633.