3 killed, 12 injured as shots fired at birthday party in Los Angeles

By Keith Allen, Jason Hanna and Carma Hassan

(CNN) -- A shootout at a crowded house-based restaurant in southwestern Los Angeles on Friday night left three men dead and 12 other people injured, and investigators are trying to determine who fired, police said.

The gunfire happened in a house that contains a Jamaican restaurant at about 12:30 a.m. PT a few blocks south of the Santa Monica Freeway, near the Crenshaw neighborhood, police said.

KTLA reports the crowd at the restaurant, which is a non-permit makeshift establishment, were celebrating a birthday party, and at some point a group of three left and returned with guns.

The group allegedly opened fire, and shots were returned.

"It was a birthday party; I don't know what happen," said Dilly, the homeowner of the restaurant that is said to be very popular in the neighborhood. "I went to go hide next door by the trashcan. When I come out, I hear plenty of people get shot."

Dozens of police officers rushed to the house after the shooting was reported, Los Angeles police Sgt. Thomas Bojorquez said.

"When officers responded here, my understanding was that there were at least 50 people running from the location of 2800 Rimpau Boulevard," Sgt. Frank Preciado of the LAPD told KTLA. "This a very chaotic situation at this point."

Police were questioning two people Saturday morning in connection with the shooting, but no one had been arrested, police Sgt. Mike Lopez said.

All of the 12 injured were taken to a hospital, and some were in critical condition on Saturday morning, Lopez said.

The names of the dead and injured were not released. Visit KTLA for local coverage and updates on this story.