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Ex-gang member murdered on L.A. visit

March 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There have been no arrests in the murder of a former local gang member who was trying to turn his life around, according to his family.Juan Carlos Catalan, 21, was shot in the head as he walked to his car at 112th Street and Prairie Avenue in Inglewood Thursday night.

The murder has traumatized the victim's family.

The victim's wife Griselda Ochoa said the family moved to Utah about a year and a half ago so her husband could escape gang life. The couple has two children.

He had only returned to L.A. to visit family.

"He was trying to change. He was gonna change," Ochoa said.

Family and friends built a makeshift memorial to the victim at the scene of the murder.

They said the shooting was gang related.

Police said they have no suspects or a motive.

Catalan's mother says she thinks the suspects were lying in wait because as soon as he walked outside, the gunshots rang out.

"All I know, people came out of the trashcans and started shooting at him, that's all that I know," she said. "There were a lot of them too. There was a lot."

Anyone with information is urged to call Inglewood Police at this 24-hour anonymous tip line: (888) 41-CRIME.