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Duarte shooting victim had gang ties, says mother

Three shootings in the Duarte area since Sunday have police hunting for suspects and residents concerned.
December 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A 16-year-old boy was shot to death in Duarte, and his mother says he may have hung out with the wrong crowd.

The shooting happened Monday night at the back of an apartment complex on the 2500 block of Huntington Drive near Mount Olive Drive. It's the third shooting to happen in the Duarte area since Sunday.

The victim was identified by his mother as Christian Rossi. His mother told Eyewitness News that Rossi attended a continuation high school and associated with gang members.

Deputies say Rossi lived in the complex with his family. Relatives heard shots fired around 11:45 p.m. When they went outside, they found Rossi shot to death in a back walkway of the building.

There is no suspect description at this time. Family members told sheriff's deputies that Rossi may have been meeting someone outside, but they don't know who.

On Sunday, 18-year-old Malcolm Mency was shot to death in a neighborhood near Duarte as he was walking home from work at a nearby Sonic drive-in chain. Mency was a young father, and his family says he worked two jobs to support his family.

Mency was gunned down on the 2200 block of Broderick Avenue around 12:30 a.m.

Shorty after Mency's murder Sunday afternoon, there was another shooting on Mount Olive Drive in Duarte. A 45-year-old man was shot and injured. Officials say the man was transported to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

At a community meeting Monday night, local residents and leaders talked about the recent violence, which officials say has been very rare in the area.

"It's very, very safe, In fact, we haven't had murder inside the Arcadia/Monrovia/Duarte area since 2008, and we haven't had a murder in Duarte since 2009," said Cpt. Chris Nee with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

But three shootings in a 3 mile radius have residents concerned.

"It's terrible. You just want to be safe where you live," said Barbara Kerr.

Investigators are looking to see if there are any gang ties to the shootings. Meantime, the sheriff's department says they are stepping up patrols in the area.

If you have any information on these shootings, you're urged to call the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department at (323) 890-5500 or (626) 285-7171.


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