Yes, we know we have crime in the Antelope Valley, but four men shot, with only one survivor, signals that we’re not the high desert placid place we’ve felt relatively safe in for decades.

Every day we publish an Antelope Valley crime blotter on Page A2, cluttered with dots providing the location of assaults, vehicle thefts, burglaries, thefts, robberies, sexual assaults and arson/fires — plus homicides.

But we’re not Chicago. We don’t have multiple murders daily.

Our Friday edition headlined the front page story, “Three shot to death; one hurt — Victims found in two cars at site.”

The incident occurred about 11:15 p.m., Wednesday, in the area of Ranch Center Drive and Elizabeth Lake Road in the Ritter Ranch area.

Deputies found four men in two cars parked at the location, all suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Three of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

A fourth victim told the officers that he used his cell phone to call 911 at 11:16 p.m.

“He said he’d been shot in the face, but he couldn’t describe where he was because he didn’t know the area,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred said.

The paramedics had to use triangulation to track the shooting victims’ location.

The lone survivor was taken to a hospital.

The men were sitting two apiece in the front seats of a Toyota Camry sedan and an Audi SUV, authorities said. They were still in the cars when the first responders arrived. The victims reportedly were not from the Antelope Valley.

Alfred said that based on their driver’s licenses, it appears two lived in other parts of California and two were from out of state.

No guns were found at the scene and Alfred said he couldn’t go into detail about the ammunition that was found.

“It looks like a semiautomatic rifle may have been used, based on the evidence on the ground,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Most Antelope Valley residents are community-oriented and neighborly. We all must help each other in time of need and sheriff’s deputies should be notified if there is highly questionable activity under way in any of our suburban or open-desert areas.

The deputies and California Highway Patrol officers must often roll at high speeds for many miles across the breadth of our spread-out Valley. It’s dangerous work and we all appreciate their life-risking efforts to keep us as safe as possible.

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