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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Violence returns to a corner of Echo Park

The southern edge of Echo Park has spent the past year recovering from the shooting death of four-year-old Roberto Lopez, Jr, with residents and city officials holding community meetings to raise citizen involvement. But, last week, only a block from where Roberto was slain by a gang member’s stray bullet, another shooting left one person in a coma for a week. Police said the shooting between two gang members is not expected to result in any retaliation in the neighborhood since neither the victim or his assailant were from the area. Still, the shooting left many on edge, including the parents of students who attend nearby Betty Plasencia Elementary. Parents, police and officials from the school district and Council District 1 gathered earlier this week to discuss the shooting.

” The attendees were concerned about the shooting and its proximity to the school and kids who may have [been] caught in the shooting’s aftermath,” said Lt. Wes Buhrmester with the LAPD Rampart Division. Buhrmester, who was briefed on the meeting by another officer, said the gathering “was a bit contentious, which is not a bad thing, because it shows people care.”

Click on the link below to read details of the incident provided by Buhrmester.

The victim, a documented gang member from a gang based in Hollenbeck Division, was at Temple St. and Edgeware St. when he encountered a gang rival, from a different gang also historically based in Hollenbeck Division. An argument took place, then a fistfight. Following the fistfight, the two went their separate ways on foot. Shortly afterward, the suspect encountered the victim a second time at Edgeware St. and Court St., where the suspect shot the victim multiple times with a handgun.

On May 18, 2010, at 4:00 pm, the victim, a documented gang member from a gang based in Hollenbeck Division [ Boyle Heights & Lincoln Heights], was at Temple St. and Edgeware St. when he encountered a gang rival, from a different gang also historically based in Hollenbeck Division. An argument took place, then a fistfight. Following the fistfight, the two went their separate ways on foot. Shortly afterward, the suspect encountered the victim a second time at Edgeware St. and Court St., where the suspect shot the victim multiple times with a handgun.

The victim was shot in the head and torso, and taken to a local hospital, where he was comatose up until day before yesterday [Tuesday]. He has regained consciousness, and our gang unit detectives are handling the investigation. Initially, because the victim had been shot in the head, our homicide unit responded and did the initial crime scene processing.

Because these were two gangs from out of the area, we do not anticipate retaliation in Rampart, however we are working with Hollenbeck personnel to ensure they are aware of this, and will respond accordingly. Also, our gang units have been working more intensely in the northwestern quadrant of Rampart, due to some gang shootings there in the past few weeks, however their presence seems to have abated the violence. For now, that is, we remain vigilant and cognizant of flare-ups and the impact these types of things have on our good citizens.

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