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Body of East LA College basketball player found in back seat of car in Monterey Park

An East Los Angeles College basketball player who had been with friends celebrating his birthday was found fatally shot in the back seat of a car in Monterey Park today.

Monterey Park police officers investigating a report of gunfire found the victim's body about 5 a.m. in the back seat of a locked vehicle in the 800 block of West El Repetto Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's

Authorities withheld the name of the man, pending notification of his relatives, however, various media reports identified him as Saieed Ivey, a freshman guard at East Los Angeles College.

"I don't know why it happened," East L.A. College basketball coach John Mosley told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's something I've never been a part of with such a great human being."

Mosley told the paper Ivey didn't play this season so he could "focus on school."

"He was getting ready to play for us next season," he said.

Today is Saieed's 20th birthday.

Sheriff's Lt. Eddie Hernandez told reporters at the scene the young man was with a group of others and went to an apartment he shares with his brother.

"He was with his group of friends for some time after they got here and for (an) unknown reason asked for the keys to that car -- that car doesn't belong to him, it belongs to a person that was in his group -- and says, `I'm
going to go down to the car,' " Hernandez said. "He goes down to the car and some time after that, we don't know how long, the gunshot was reported."

Sheriff's detectives were leading the homicide investigation.

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