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Times' coverage: A gang feud's fallout

September 18, 2009 | 11:24 am

Memorial set up for 13-year-old Daquawn Allen. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times The Times' Scott Gold has been reporting on gangs in South L.A. since June. His latest piece takes a look at a deadly dispute between the Main Street Crips and the Hoover Criminals that has led to at least six shootings and the deaths of three black males: Drayvon James, 29, Robert Nelson, 16 and Daquawn Allen, 13.

It began, as mortal disputes sometimes do in South Los Angeles, over a girl.

On one side were the Main Street Crips, one of the more muscular gangs in the neighborhood. Main Streeters commanded respect, if only because they had a bit of money to throw around, even their own small record label. On the other side were the Hoover Criminals. The Hoovers were big, with turf that stretched from Vernon Avenue down past Century Boulevard and into "the hundreds," as the streets are known locally. The Hoovers were belligerent too; they seemed to have a hard time getting along with anybody -- except the Main Street Crips.

Over the years, the two gangs had carved up one patch of South L.A., settling on Broadway as their loose border -- Main Street Crips to the east, Hoovers to the west. Partly because of old friendships, partly because their alliance was good for business, they had coexisted that way for as long as anyone could remember.

Then, one balmy night in August, Main Street threw a party. The Hoovers were invited. The details are murky -- something about a girlfriend and a racy remark -- but it doesn't matter now. Guns were pulled. Shots were fired. And an old-fashioned beef, the likes of which this part of South L.A. hadn't seen in several years, was underway.

Read more: A gang feud's fallout 

The series: Promise and Peril in South L.A.

Photo: Sgt. Dan Horan of the 77th Street Division looks at the memorial set up for 13-year-old Daquawn Allen, who was shot and killed on Broadway after he'd gone to a swap meet to buy balloons, according to his grandmother. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times