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New murder escalates Monrovia gang war

January 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The peace of Monrovia has been shattered by a string of apparently racially motivated, suspected gang killings. Some residents of the quiet foothill community are now ready to leave.Even though authorities have doubled their efforts on the streets of Monrovia to deal with a racially charged gang feud, Tuesday night another fatal shooting occurred in the area.

Nineteen-year-old Brandon Lee was the third person killed in January in a racially charged feud between a black gang and a Latino gang in Monrovia.

Family members of Lee's tell Eyewitness News that a Latino gang member shot Lee as he was getting out of his car to go to his uncle's home Tuesday night just before 8 on the 400 block of Almond and Monrovia.

Residents in the area say enough is enough.

"Who's going to be next?" asked Monrovia resident Mildred Delvalle. "We've been telling our kids to stay inside the house, not to go out, not to walk in groups."

"Tomorrow, who will it be?" said Monrovia resident Nelly Cruz. "We're scared for our family, for our neighbors, because there's no more security. It's no way to live."

Police say the shooting happened about two blocks away from where officers were raiding the home of an elderly man who was shot to death by Hispanic gang members two weeks ago.

Authorities say they took weapons from the home that they believe could be connected to several gang-related shootings in the area.

Detectives say they arrested two of the elderly victim's nephews. Both are charged with attempted murder in a violent crime authorities won't talk about.

Investigators say Saturday night black gang members walked up to 16-year-old Samantha Salas and shot her dead and injured her friend on the 2500 block of Peck Road in unincorporated Monrovia.

"It was interesting that the local Sheriff and police were saying that we should remember it's not race on race, Hispanic against African-American, but that it appears to be the gangs that obviously are made up racially," said Monrovia resident Micki Webb. "It's not as random as it seems."

Authorities say a gang unit with the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. has teamed up with the Monrovia Police Dept. to target the problem and root it out. Residents say they hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Authorities need the public's help catching suspects by calling L.A. County Homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.

 

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