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Daylight Shooting Has Possible Gang Ties

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, September 13, 2010, at 01:59PM
Alley Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Saturday's shooting took place in this alley between Broadway and Spring Street. Residents say they see frequent loitering and drug use behind the arcade at 724 S. Broadway.

A shooting that took place in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon in the Historic Core may have been connected to a territory fight between members of rival gangs, LAPD says.

The incident took place around 4:15pm in the alley that runs from 7th to 8th, mid-block between Broadway and Spring. A 14-year-old involved in the fighting was struck by a bullet, transported to the hospital and later released to his mother.

The shooting was particularly scary to residents of the Chapman Flats, which sits at the 8th Street end of the alley. Residents use the alley to access the building's parking garage, which is two doors down from the building itself.

According to police, the altercation appeared to be between rival gang members. A group of hispanics believed to be part of the 18th street gang went over to the Huntington Hotel shortly before the shooting, according to Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives for Central Division. They were then followed back to the alley, where the incident may have started as a fistfight.

"We suspect the motives behind all this is narcotics," said Lt. Vernon. "We believe that the root cause of this is related to the narcotics dealing that goes on [at the Huntington]." The first group may have "gone over there trying to intimidate or bully or assert themselves."

Police "talked to a number of very credible witnesses" afterward, and are pursuing leads to find the shooter and others involved.

The alley, particularly behind the arcade at 724 S. Broadway, is a frequent source of problems, according to Chapman Flats resident Rob Johnson. "There's always, almost every single day, a group of guys that will hang out in that alley," he said. "You can just smell them smoking really cheap pot."

Johnson said that the shooting has made him realize the need to be vigilant in reporting illicit behavior. "We see things that we think aren't that big of a deal, but they are," he said. "We let those guys sit there on the corner smoking weed."

Vernon encouraged residents to report gang activity such as tagging. "We don't want gang members to be of the opinion or idea that anyone has given any territory to them," he said.

Residents in the neighborhood can report graffiti to the Historic Downtown Center BID at 213-239-8336, the Fashion District BID at 213-741-2661, or by calling Officer Adrian Lopez by calling 213-972-1246 or emailing him a photo at 34472@lapd.lacity.org.

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