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Two killed, five wounded in shooting in Central California

By Laila Kearney

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A gunman fired into a crowd during a fight outside a California taco restaurant early on Monday, killing two people and wounding five others, police said.

The shooting erupted during a fight between several people that began inside the Tacos Choice restaurant in Salinas, about 100 miles south of San Francisco, and spilled outside into the parking lot, Salinas Police Commander David Shaw said.

The shooter fired into a crowd that had formed around the fight, instantly killing a 22-year-old man and wounding a 28-year-old man who later died at a nearby hospital, Shaw said.

Five more people were wounded in the shooting, including a 25-year-old man, who was being treated for life-threatening injuries, and a 53-year-old woman, who was shot multiple times, according to a police report.

The three other victims suffered from single gunshots and were not seriously injured, the report said.

"Some of the people in the crowd engaged in the fight and others were either standing by or in the area, possibly just leaving the restaurant," Shaw said.

Shaw said the shooting is being investigated as gang related. He no arrests have been made and that he did not know if any of the shooting victims were affiliated with gangs.

The city of Salinas, made famous in the novels of John Steinbeck, has long suffered from gang violence, stemming mainly from the predominant Nortenos and Surenos street gangs, Shaw said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Carol Bishopric)

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