LAPD asks for help identifying suspect in fatal shooting of teens at Lincoln Heights street carnival

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ByJory Rand via KABC logo
Thursday, September 15, 2022
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Police are asking the public for help finding the person who shot and killed two teenage boys at a street carnival in Lincoln Heights.

LINCOLN HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police are asking the public for help finding the person who shot and killed two teenage boys at a street carnival in Lincoln Heights.

During a press conference Wednesday at the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollenbeck station, investigators and family members urged any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward to help find the killer.

Javier Mejia and Winfield Lee, both 17 years old, were fatally shot Sunday night.

"The loss of life of this degree is profound and has everlasting impacts on these families for generations to come," said Chief Michel Moore.

Homicide detectives say the shooting may be gang-related and believe it stemmed from a brawl at a nearby gas station involving as many as 20 people or more.

An hour after the fight, a man pulled out a gun and fired into the crowd, authorities said. A blurry surveillance image shows that man leaving the scene on a bike.

Detectives believe they'll soon have their hands on better video, but are still asking for the public's help as well.

"There were literally hundreds of people at this carnival. We have spoken to some witnesses... but we believe there are several other people that (saw) what happened and the fact is this could be anyone's brother or anyone's son," Lt. Ryan Rabbett said. "We're looking for people to come forward. Call our detectives with information."

Representatives from several youth organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club who had worked with both victims, were present at the press conference.

"We try our very best to help the young people in our community, to provide good services to the kids and to help them live to have a very healthy and safe life," said Juana Lambert, executive director of the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club. "It couldn't be more tragic for us to have this happen to these two young men, both of which we knew."

The Boys and Girls Club and the other youth organizations want the violence to end, and say they have put on events like that carnival to keep kids away from the violence that broke out just outside its gates.

The LAPD says there should be more information and clues as to who the killer is by next week. Anyone with information is asked to call the department.