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Child shot in the head in Harbor Gateway

March 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A 6-year-old boy riding in an SUV was shot in the head and hospitalized in critical but stable condition Tuesday when two suspects flashed gang signs at the vehicle and then opened fire, shattering the car's rear window in the Harbor Gateway area. Authorities held a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Harbor Gateway, not far from the scene of the shooting.

Police say that at approximately 12:45 p.m. Tuesday an SUV carrying two African American women a man and three children were driving near 227 Halldale Avenue in Los Angeles when at least two Hispanic gang members opened fire on the vehicle.

Several of the windows were shattered in the SUV. A 6-year-old boy was hit in the head.

"At approximately 12:35 in front of Halldale Avenue, which is about two blocks from where we are standing, they had an encounter with two Latino males. The preliminary information that we are working with is that there were gang signs flashed by the gang males in the car. They then fired several shots at the car as the car was moving down the street. One of those shots blew out the back window of the vehicle and struck the 6-year-old child in the head. The child is currently at the hospital in critical condition, but stable," said Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa condemned the shooting, and decried the recent rash of shootings that occurred in South Los Angeles and Arlington Heights.

"We have had a pretty horrible last few days here in the city of Los Angeles. As you know there was an unprovoked shooting last week where eight people were injured. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. Last night a young high school football star was killed. Then there was today's tragedy involving a young boy who was shot in the head. He is currently in critical, but stable condition. All I can say is I trust that the men and women of the LAPD are going to work as hard as they can work around the clock to bring these individuals to justice," said Mayor Villaraigosa.

The suspects were described as Hispanic men in their 20s, one with short black hair and the other with a shaved head.

Police have fanned out through the Harbor Gateway community and are searching for the suspects. Authorities do not believe that the shooting was racially motivated.

Eyewitness News reporter Leo Stallworth and CNS contributed to this report.

 

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