Police have arrested two suspected gang members who shot a six year old boy Tuesday in the Harbor Gateway area while he was riding in a car with other people.
Two suspects, described as two Hispanic men in their 20s, were arrested Wednesday after police combed the Harbor Gateway area. One of the suspects was arrested near 225th Street and Halldale Avenue about 5:35 a.m.
The victim was riding in a car with three adults and two other children around 12:30 p.m. when a gang member opened fire on the red SUV and shot the boy in the head. The family was driving through the area to purchase a vehicle and had gotten lost.
The child was rushed by paramedics to Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he remains in stable but critical condition.
The boy was shot when two suspects flashed gang signs at the vehicle and then opened fire, shattering the cars rear window.
Bratton said that the passengers in the car included one six-year-old boy, one three-year-old child and another 18-month-old child, one man and two women. One of the women was six months pregnant.
The gunfire broke out near 22700 Halldale Ave., Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton told news sources.
The shooting is the latest incident of gang-related shootings that have shaken the city in the past week. On Sunday, a 17-year-old teen was shot by gang members on 5th Avenue while walking home. A gang member opened fire at a group of people standing at a bus stop at Vernon and Avenues on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008.
Harbor Gateway had been the site of a number of gang-related shootings, including the shooting death of 14-year-old Cheryl Green, who was killed last year. This is an area that is under the influence of a Latino gang–and you may recall that about a year or so ago the mayor and I were engaged in a major initiative up the street at 204th Street, where there had been the shooting death of a young black woman, Bratton said, referring to Green.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is urging that 1,000 more policemen to be hired in an effort to combat gang related crimes, decried the recent rash of shootings that had recently occurred in South Los Angeles and Arlington Heights.
Our hearts and prayers are with the family (of the six-year-old boy) at this time, with the community that has suffered a lot over the last few years–a community of good people, hard working people, people who want safety for the children in the neighborhood. All I can say is I trust that the men and women of the LAPD are going to work as hard as they can work around the clock to bring these individuals to justice.
In an effort to address concerns regarding the recent rash of gang-related shootings that have sparked community outrage in the past week, Chief William Bratton joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and District City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo Wednesday at Universal City to announce arrests in the Harbor Gateway shooting as well as increased efforts to quell gang violence.
Gang violence is not an inclusive disease. Its pernicious and it has the ability to grow, but we have reduced it overall, said Bratton. Gang related homicides are down 25 percent. Something can be done about this gang violence and we can make a difference.
Delgadillo said that the marriage of law enforcement and community involvement is critical in curtailing gang violence. All of our efforts can be thought of as the heat that will drive these gang member to the light. Because in the end we want to put the gang members out of business, he said.