Two gang members, Marcus Denson and Leonard Hall Jr. charged in shooting that killed 5-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr.
11/8/2010, 1:40 p.m.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Two reputed gang members were charged today with the Halloween day killing of a 5-year-old boy who was shot while showing off his Spider-Man costume in the backyard of his family's South Los Angeles home.
In addition to murder, Marcus Denson, 18, and Leonard Hall Jr., 21, were each charged with two counts of attempted murder for the Oct. 31 shooting in the 1000 block of East 84th Street. Hall is alleged to have fired the fatal shot, according to prosecutors.
The complaint alleges that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Arraignment for both men was set for Nov. 19.
Prosecutors said Hall and Denson were members of the Kitchen Crips gang, and they entered rival gang territory on Halloween day and approached the back of a home that opened up into an alley.
A group of men were gathered in a backyard where the victim, Aaron Shannon Jr., was running around, showing his father and others his costume, according to police and prosecutors.
Denson and Hall allegedly opened fire on the group, fatally striking the child and injuring the boy's uncle and grandfather, prosecutors said. The neighborhood where the boy lived is an active gang area, but his family had no gang ties, according to police.
The boy died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, according to Deputy District Attorney Larry Droeger of the Hardcore Gang Division.
The two wounded men were not seriously injured.
Denson was arrested Thursday, and Hall on Friday. A judge today ordered their bail raised from $1 million to $4 million each.
If convicted as charged, Hall and Denson face a maximum term of 130 years to life in prison, Droeger said.
LAPD homicide Detective Eric Crosson of the LAPD's 77th Street Station said the shooting was linked to a gang rivalry between the Kitchen Crips and Swan Bloods.
The Los Angeles City Council had offered a reward of up to $75,000 for information leading to the suspected gang members who fatally shot the boy. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered a $25,000 reward.