Suspect in killing of Compton 1-year-old freed

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The suspect in the killing of a 1-year-old Compton girl has been released.

A 23-year-old man who was arrested in the shooting death of a 1-year-old Compton girl has been released.

Ray Howard Patterson Jr., 23, was arrested Monday in the death of Autumn Johnson, who was shot by a person who drove up to the family home in Compton, sprayed it with bullets and fled. Autumn was sleeping in a crib at the time.

Investigators believe the shooting was gang-related and targeted the baby's father.

Patterson was expected to be arraigned Wednesday in a Compton courthouse. Instead, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office declined to file charges, saying more investigation is needed.

Patterson's father, Ray Howard Patterson Sr. said he believes location information in his son's cellphone, seized by investigators, proves that he was not in that location at the time of the shooting.

"It's a great day today, that my son was fortunate enough to be set free based on the information that was provided," Patterson said.

He said he thought his son was arrested in a rush to solve the crime that has sparked such strong community outrage in Compton, as well as a $75,000 reward.

The family of Autumn Johnson went to the courthouse expecting to attend the arraignment and said they were disappointed at the outcome.

"The family is really disheartened at this time," the family said in a statement. "We are holding up as well as can be expected. We are believing that justice will prevail. Ultimately God has the last word."

Officials asked anyone with information about the shooting of Autumn Johnson to call Crimestoppers at (800)822-8477.

Related Topics:
child killedgang violenceComptonLos Angeles County
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