COMPTON—The search for whoever shot to death a year-old girl in Compton continued today, with a $25,000 reward offered for information that that leads to an arrest and conviction for the baby’s slaying. Compton Mayor Aja Brown announced the reward Wednesday, saying the shooting of little Autumn Johnson was “a tragedy that no parent should ever have to face. There is no justification for this horrendous tragedy,” she said. “There is no excuse that anyone can give for taking the life of a precious baby girl who had not even begun to realize her full potential in life.” Brown urged the public to help the victim’s family “achieve justice” by contacting “local law enforcement officials, if you know anything about this crime and the suspects sought.” Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
Witnesses told sheriff’s investigators that Tuesday night’s attack was carried out by two males in a dark four-door sedan, with one of the suspects opening fire into a home’s garage, which had been converted into a living area, said Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The car was described as a newer model blue four-door Chevrolet Impala.
Detectives believe the shooting was gang-related.
One report indicated the intended target might have been the girl’s father, who apparently has gang ties, according to news reports. The infant, who suffered a round to the head while in her crib, was not the target of the attackers, according to authorities.
Deputies were dispatched at 6:58 p.m. Tuesday to the area of East San Marcus Street and North Holly Avenue in response to a report of several shots fired, said Sgt. Ulysses Cruz of the sheriff’s Compton Station. Because fire department paramedics had not arrived, the deputies rushed the infant to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where she was pronounced dead.
The site of Tuesday’s shooting, about a block from Roosevelt Elementary School, is one of the more violent neighborhoods in Los Angeles County, according to crime data compiled by the Los Angeles Times. In the last six months, Compton has had 475 violent crimes, including eight homicides, according to The Times’ database.
On Friday at noon, the group Equal Justice in America, NAEJA, will hold a rally and vigil at Holly Avenue and San Marcus Street to talk about the shooting of baby Autumn as well as numerous unsolved crimes and other law enforcement statistics. And then on March 7 at 7 p.m. the organization will hold its monthly crime committee meeting at the Dollarhide Community Center, 301 N Tamarind Ave., Compton.