Detectives are searching for the shooter who brutally gunned down a 19-year-old special needs teenager sitting on a park bench in South Los Angeles.
The gunman, who ran up, opened fire with a handgun and then fled in a compact car, is believed to be a gang member, a police detective said.
The shooting was reported at 3:15 p.m. at 1535 W. 62nd St., said Los Angeles police Officer Rosario Herrera of the Media Relations section.
The victim, Patrick Caruthers, was a volunteered who worked at the park, known as the Jackie Tatum/Harvard Recreation Center, where he was shot, said Los Angeles police Detective Stacey Szymkowiak of the Gang Homicide unit.
He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.
Caruthers, who had a learning disability, had no criminal history and was not a gang member, Szymkowiak said.
The shooter was “most likely” a gang member, she said.
The suspect ran to an awaiting dark-colored compact car, which was last seen heading west on 62nd and south on Denker Avenue, according to police.
“We still have some conflicting suspect descriptions,” Szymkowiak said.
Caruthers’ mother, Gail Sears, told KCAL9 that her son loved music and going to church and stayed out of trouble.
“Patrick didn’t have any enemies, he didn’t bother anybody. All he did was try to . . . live his life,” she said of the recent Manual Arts High School graduate.
Anyone with information on this homicide was asked to call the LAPD’s 77th Division at (213) 485-4164. All tips can be made anonymously.