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Learning-disabled teen fatally shot in South Los Angeles park

September 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Patrick Caruthers, a 19-year-old special-needs student, was fatally shot on a park bench on the 1500 block of West 62nd Street at about 3 p.m. Tuesday . Police are searching for the shooter.

The shooting happened around 3 p.m. in the park next to the Jackie Tatum / Harvard Recreation Center. Patrick Caruthers, 19, was sitting at a picnic table with his headphones on when a dark-colored sedan pulled up. One suspect got out and shot Caruthers, hitting him multiple times. He died at the scene.

"Not gang-related at all," said LAPD Detective Chris Barling. "Clearly we believe the suspects, based on their actions, were gang members. Unfortunately that neighborhood is comprised of different black and Hispanic gangs."

There were many other people at the park at the time of the shooting. Witnesses told police a suspect got back into a dark-colored car and drove off.

Police say the learning disabled student was not a gang member. Caruthers attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Caruthers was well-known in the neighborhood and volunteered at the park and the city's Summer Night Lights program.

Anyone with information related to the case should contact the LAPD at (877) 527-3247.


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