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4th suspect sought in shootout

February 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles police are pressing their search for a fourth suspect linked to Thursday's deadly gang-related shootout in Glassell Park.They're still working to identify the fourth suspect who got away. They have only a vague description at this point.

Candles mark the corner of Roseview and Aragon avenues, where 37-year-old Marcos Salas was murdered just a few yards from the entrance of Aragon Avenue Elementary School. Police say the chain of events began in Cypress when Salas was gunned down in a drive-by shooting while holding a toddler in his arms.

Salas later died, but the toddler escaped serious injury.

Plainclothes police officers encountered the suspects in Glassell Park. A shootout followed, leaving one suspect dead and another injured. A third suspect was then cornered in an alley by SWAT officers and a police dog. The fourth shooting suspect got away and remains on the loose.

"We believe that these individuals are the individuals that have been shooting up this area, holding the residents of this area hostage and engaging in active, if you will, terrorism," said Deputy Chief Jim McDonnell of the LAPD.

Residents say gang violence appears to be on the rise. They say they hear gunshots often, and recently shootings have been happening in broad daylight.

"But the last month there has been more of an occurrence of shootings and people telling us that they've been hearing shooting at night," said Michael O'Connell of the Cypress Park Community Center.

Parents who send their kids to Aragon Elementary say they'd like to see more police patrols in the neighborhood.

"[There's] a lot of kids over here, around here, so I need help, please, to know, to protect all the kids," said parent Mercedes Velasco.

People in the neighborhood are talking about putting together a car wash to help raise money for the victim's family so they can cover his burial expenses.

Recently the Cypress Park Community Center held another fundraiser for a 14-year-old murder victim in the neighborhood.

Despite all the gang problems in the area, the center says that people in the neighborhood do come together to help each other in times of need.

 

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