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Veteran Survives 3 Tours Of Duty But He’s Gunned Down In Lancaster

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LANCASTER (CBS) — A 30-year-old veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan was shot to death Saturday in Lancaster, sheriff’s officials said.

Nathen Taylor’s family is grieving and in disbelief.

The shooting in the 700 block of West Avenue H-7 occurred around 12:10 a.m., said Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

Taylor, according to his brother Patrick, had just left a party because he didn’t like to be around a lot of drinking. Taylor called his brother to say he would be dropping by his house within a few minutes.

Taylor was sitting alone in his car, cell phone in hand, when he was shot by an unknown assailant.

“My brother was a righteous man. My brother loved everyone. He had no enemies, no hatred towards anyone,” Patrick Taylor told KCAL9 and CBS2 reporter Cristy Fajardo.

“Several men walked up to the car and one of the suspects fired several rounds into the vehicle,” Saldana said in a statement. “The victim was fatally shot in the upper torso.”

After hearing shots, Patrick ran outside and found his brother bleeding and slumped over the steering wheel.

Officials said the suspects fled the scene on foot. The motive for the shooting remained unknown.

Patrick said it took a half hour for an ambulance to arrive. “I told my brother he was going to be okay, and I believed it.”

Jack Garcia, a friend of Taylor’s says, if he knew the ambulance was going to take as long as it did, “I would have pushed him over [into the passenger’s seat] and driven him to the hospital. I believed in the system —  I don’t anymore.”

The now deceased army veteran has a young daughter. He was studying to be a computer technician and also planning a wedding, according to his family.

Authorities urged anyone with information to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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