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Man arrested in shooting of 7-year-old boy

July 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 21-year-old documented gang member was arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting of a 7-year-old boy at Holifield Park in Norwalk. Charles German Vera was arrested at about 11 a.m. while driving on the 5 Freeway with his mother in Norwalk, said Lt. Bill Evans of the Norwalk Sheriff's Station. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Authorities said gunfire broke out at about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. The boy had been riding his bike at Holifield Park with his father when he was hit by a stray bullet in the torso.

Witnesses said they heard between one to three shots fired from outside the park - about 100 yard from where the boy was playing.

Investigators said Vera had gotten into an argument with at least one other individual across the street from the park. The argument escalated and Vera pulled out a handgun and shot at the individual. The bullet missed the intended target, traveled across the street and struck the boy.

The boy underwent surgery at Long Beach Memorial Hospital and was in stable condition.

The shooting has taken local residents off guard. They say the shooting is unusual for the area and the park.

"Sometimes, we just bring the kids and let them play, and we don't know what's going to happen," said Marisol Morales of Norwalk. "It's really bad. Now we're shocked, what's going to happen next?"


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