Teenage boy gunned down in Echo Park

ECHO PARK Anthony Ezquiel Escobar, 13, was shot in the 800 block of North Bonnie Brae Street near Sunset around 8 p.m. Thursday.

The boy had gone to pick lemons from a tree outside his home.

"He's not a gang member. There was no reason to shoot him. It is really senseless why they would pick on a kid like him," said Heidi Aguilar, victim's cousin.

John Aguilar says that he was the one that found his nephew's body. He found him lying in his driveway with a gunshot wound to his head.

"I went in to go fix food for my kids and then I heard shots. I ran out real fast and I did not see nothing. Then I started looking around and started to get nervous. I went behind the car and I found him behind the car," said John Aguilar.

Escobar regularly attended El Centro del Pueblo, a youth outreach center, where he played sports with other teens. A former counselor remembered Escobar well.

"When the sun comes up that is him, that is sunshine," said Cynthia Magallo, a friend.

Family members say that Escobar is a victim of the ongoing gang violence.

"It is the nephews, the grandchildren of our kids and they are fighting each other. We need to get together and we need to stop this. I wish Antonio would be here to stop this," said Vincent Rodriguez, a family friend.

The victim was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital.

Police say that they have no witnesses and they need the publics help.

"There are not to many people out. Whatever minor information that may appear to them they should give us a call and we will piece it together," said Lt. Ruben de la Torre, LAPD.

People are hoping the death of this local 8th grader will put a stop to all of the random shootings.

"There are shootings all up and down these streets. The ones that always get hit are the innocent ones. Whoever they're aiming at, they obviously do not know what they are doing," said John Aguilar.

There's no word on whether the shooting was gang-related, but officers say it does not appear that the victim was in a gang.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to call the LAPD Rampart Division at (213) 207-2060.

Eyewitness News reporters Carlos Granda and Subha Ravindhran contributed to this report.


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