Members of the community and the family of Angel Cortez, the 14-month-old boy who was the victim of a suspected gang-related shooting, came together Saturday to hold a car wash to raise money for the child’s funeral.
“The turnout was really good,” said Marisol, Angel’s godmother. “The community has been very supportive of our family and I can’t even describe how good it feels to have that support.”
Marisol said the family has been in touch with the police and at this point there have been no arrests or leads in the case, but they are hopeful that someone will come forward.
“We raised a good amount of money for the funeral, so now the next step is planning it, and setting a day and time. We are not at all worried about the rumored gang violence because we aren’t gang members. No one in our family is involved in that, so it’s not a concern.”
The Los Angeles City Council approved a $100,000 reward last week for information leading to the bicycle-riding gunman who opened fire on Angel and his father Mauro Cortez.
The original $50,000 was offered by the city, then Timothy Lieweke, president of AEG, which owns the Los Angeles Kings, offered to match that offer on behalf of the team.
Angel’s father, Mauro Cortez, was holding his son when the shooting occurred on Hickory Street near 105th Street about 7:50 p.m. Monday. Doctors were unable to save the boy, who underwent surgery and was declared dead at 10:20 p.m., police said.
Cortez, who suffered a shoulder wound, appeared at a news conference Wednesday and, speaking in Spanish, appealed to the public for help in finding the gunman. While some officers said they believed the shooting to be gang-related, Detective Jim Vena said there was no indication that Cortez was a gang member. Federal agents are assisting Los Angeles police detectives with the South Bureau Homicide unit.
Neighbors claim they have been caught in the crossfire of a six-month turf war between Fudgetown, a Black gang, and the Hispanic Barrio Grape Street gang.
Although Cortez and his family maintain that that he is not a gang member, he was wearing a purple shirt, which is widely recognized as a sign of Barrio Grape Street Gang affiliation. Cortez claimed the shirt was given to him by a friend. The shirt read, “I own a Honda . . . be nice to me.”
Deputy Chief Pat Gannon said the suspect likely lived in the area and was 15-18 years old. He was Black and wore a black hoodie, witnesses told police.
City News Service contributed to this article.