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Police make arrest in bus stop shooting

February 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Police have identified a person arrested in connection with a shooting that wounded five children and three adults on a Los Angeles street Wednesday afternoon. The shooting happened near George Washington Carver Junior High School just as students were leaving class.

At least a dozen LAUSD police watched over the students at Carver Junior High School Thursday afternoon as the kids got out of school for the day.

A police press release issued Thursday said the man is "known as" 24-year-old Billy Ray Hines.

Students say school is the one place they always feel safe, but that security was shattered. Some of the students who walk home from school were terrified to leave the campus Thursday afternoon.

"Man, I am just scared to walk home. We shouldn't be scared for our lives like that," said Clara Booker, a student.

Students and staff are shaken by the gunfire that erupted Wednesday at a busy bus stop a block from the school.

"They're trying to keep us safe," student Jacqueline Smith said about the extra officers patrolling the area. "When it happened yesterday I was so scared. And, like, they're trying to make a better environment and that's kind of good, like, they out here."

"There are like a lot of police officers out here," said Ruben Ramos, a student at Carver Junior High School. "They're trying to keep us safe again."

Several Carver students were caught in the gunfire. Eight people in all, five of them children as young as 10 years old, were injured.

The shooting happened around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at Central and Vernon avenues. The intersection was packed with nearly 100 people.

Investigators say that Hines, who was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, was aiming for someone specific in the crowd.

Detectives believe there was an argument between Hines and his intended target.

"There is a possibility that there may have been an altercation or some form of an argument immediately proceeding the shooting. This directly resulted in this target being shot at Central and Vernon Avenue," said LAPD Captain Rigo Romero.

During the horrifying incident good samaritans rushed in to help victims some of who were taken to the nearby school. Some of the students say that they saw one of their classmates, a 10-year-old girl, taken into the school bleeding.

"I saw a little girl that was just laying there," said Latasha Brown, a student.

"I saw that little girl bleeding. She was bleeding all over her arm and stuff. I hate the ghetto. The ghetto is crazy and I just want to get out," said Amber Zabate, as student.

Back at Carver Junior High School, crisis counselors are on hand to help students deal with the violence.

Despite some serious injuries, authorities say everyone injured in the shooting is expected to survive.

Eyewitness News reporters Leo Stallworth, Leanne Suter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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