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Slain 4-year-old was walking with sister [UPDATED]

A 4-year-old boy walking with his sister was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon south of Angelino Heights, Los Angeles police officials reported.

LAPD Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz said that at least one person opened fire on a red car driving down the street, and one of the shots apparently struck the boy in the chest. The shooting occurred in the 1200 block of Court Street about 4:25 p.m.

"Word has gotten out that a child has been killed here," Diaz said, adding that neighbors were gathered on their front porches. 

The boy was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two years ago in the same neighborhood, a 9-year-old girl was standing in the kitchen of her home as her mother rinsed dishes, when gang members drove up to a house across the street and exchanged shots with rival gang members, police said. None of the gang members were injured. But one bullet tore through the front wall of the girl's home, passed through the living room and struck the girl in the head.

The girl later died.

Updated, 9 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated the shooting occurred in Angelino Heights. It occurred in a neighborhood south of Angelino Heights.

Updated, 9:50 p.m.: Police have identified the 4-year-old boy as Roberto Lopez. Investigators are seeking the public's help. Information can be provided anonymously through the LAPD website, lapdonline.org.   

-- Andrew Blankstein

Comments () | Archives (26)

This is horrible. I think that what all the neighbors need to do is set up some very good surveillance cameras (encased in steel boxes and shatter proof glass) that face the street. Any gang members that drive by and shoot at random people can then be quickly identified and put away for life. Perhaps there can be grants from the police for this. Big brother them out of the neighborhood.

Yet another good reason to leave Los Angeles or move to Orange County. One works hard, pay taxes, clean the front yard, pay the bills, etc., and yet you live in fear of "what if my 5 year old boy gets killed by a stray bullet by these idiot gang members". Hmm.

This is a sad event but it didn't really take place in Angeleno Heights -- anything south of the 101 is not really the same neighborhood.

these gang members are cowards, cockroaches and scum. martial law to lock up these losers.

Gang bangers shoot four year olds, gang bangers shoot anyone!!!
LA the land of gangs!!! When will it stop?

It's a shame about the little boy. I'm sure the neighborhood is outraged by the incident. The officers of Rampart, I'm sure, are equally frustrated. The good thing is, though, no gang members will be unduly harassed by gang officers to find the culprit (lest they receive a personnel complaint) and I'm sure the residents of the area are lining up at the local Rampart Station to tell all they know. I'm sure Rampart has plenty of gang detectives and officers to help solve this one (that is, if they didn't get pulled out by the recent managed attrition). The tenured patrol officers will surely be shaking the bush in an effort to garner leads to pass on to detectives (wait, tenured officers know better than to disrupt the status quo, otherwise they get put in the kit room, become subjects of audits, REMAC, large sums of complaints, which lead to the aforementioned, as well as being labeled problem children and shady). The Department's supervision will see that these murderers are tracked down (wait, the patrol supervision is too tied up doing action items on the tenured officers who have breached their peer group threshold in complaints and need to determine if they are shady and may be problem children, and they may also be too tied up completing personnel complaints related to the officers being brutish or otherwise too firm or insensitive in their dealings with the diverse community in which they serve, not taking into account the feelings of the local transient population, street gang members and other key components to the Rampart Area that have made the place such a melting pot of beauty in which to live and prosper.

Good luck. Sorry for the loss of the baby. I hope the men and women of the ill-staffed Rampart Detectives have fully embraced and taken ownership of Papa Billy's mantra, "Work smarta', not harda', and when the deployment this month seems a little lacking, we can always embrace this one, "Do more with less". Have a great 2009, Rampart.

I've always been curious. When the gangsters get back to the hangout and they get word that the only person they hit was a 4-year-old, what do they say to each other? Collateral damage? God's will? We should take target practice?

Angelino Heights - Anyone remember the children's author, Leo Politi - who portrayed this community in his illustrated children's books, about Los Angeles, Olvera St., etc? I have an autographed (with flourishes and a bird) copy of "Angelino Heights" --- so sad what is happening to this community not far from the center of town.

Why is this happening now? What is going on?

Everything looks so hopeful - but this is going on too.

You can have a simple lifestyle and not have this kind of crime, can't you? We must get to the bottom of this the way the riots in LA were studied.

The hispanic gang culture has infiltrated every part of our society. From LAUSD to the Mayor's office to private companies.
My neighbor's daughter has a hispanic last name and was summoned for an interview, once they learn that she is not hispanic, she said she will be called back. They think and act in groups.

My heart goes out to the family of this and all the other children of the complete world that has to deal with gang violence.

When I was a kid we had recreation centers to play at. Kids didn't feel like they had to GANG UP (which is exactly what a gang is. A person to fearful to stand up for themselves so they drag more in to overpower one person).

Has anyone thought to explore why gang violence has skyrocketed? Look at our government all the way to the police that are supposed to protect us. Why not look at how much money over the last twenty years has been given to police and look at how much we have had to pay for police corruption and law suits.

Taxpayers get shafted because we are the ones that always get pounced on by the government for more money for all these corrupt people. Don't let Washington off the hook. In all honesty the corruption starts at the top. We have no government for the people due to the same ones that have gotten rich off the backs of poor people. They give us a list of RULES that they DO NOT abide by. Why does this country allow these people to use our money for their own piggy banks?

This country should be ashamed of the way people are treated by each other. Why can't we keep our noses out of other countries business and take care of our own mess here at home. We have our own war going right here in the USA. Government should be torn down and started over with the politicians realizing government jobs are not supposed to make you rich, they are supposed to benefit the whole country.

Heck, Diane Feinstein is my Senator, don't tell her that though. I have written to her office many times without so much as a kiss my shoes from her. She doesn't respond. She is to busy getting her husband some new government contract. THE PEOPLE HAVE NO VOICE IN THIS COUNTRY. That is the way the violence happens and continues to happen. I do hope this country wakes up. I am afraid I won't be lucky enough to see it in my lifetime that is to bad.

Yeah, I'm sure its really important to distinguish between Angelino Heights and SOUTH of Angelino Heights. What's the difference??!!! It's all barrio, the hood, gangland, that's day to day life there. Like its really going to make a difference on property values if its not stated that is was SOUTH of Angelino Heights

So, what else is new?

I'm pretty sure that the people that did this will never read this but here it goes anyway.

I hope you're proud of the fact that your stupid senseless actions killed a 4 year year old boy.

I hope you can sleep in your bed tonight knowing that you are not a brave and wonderful person that knows how to stand up and be counted and looked upon with favor from your friends and family.

you really showed that baby that you stand up for your rights and you won't be wronged and or dissed.. Oh no way in hell will I stand for anyone to look at me and furrow a brow.

I'll whip out my gun and blow you away.... even though it cost a baby his life.

How's it feel to be a baby kiler? Did you go back with your buddies and whoop it up and give high fives?

why don't you guys do the world a favor and go out in the desert and sit down and place the barrel of that gun in your mouth and pull the trigger.

It will save a lot of pain and disgrace.

Come on, go do it and show the world how much a man you really are.
Killing babies must be hard ass work for a macho POS like you.

Just sit down now, place it in your mouth and ease the trigger back.

baby killer........... shesh, man what a waste of air you are.

Hey "angeleo" your comment that "that anything south of the 101 is really not the same neighborhood" is stupid. I my parents have lived "south of the 101" for 40 years. They worked hard all their lives, keep their house clean and tidy, sweep the street and take pride in their neighborhood (Laveta Terrace). You need to take a better look at where you really live and not just make an all inclusive judgement about "anything south of the 101". Our house is just as good as yours!

There should be a green light on this entire gang for killing a innocent child, come on losers take care of this you know it was not right too do what you did..

People do have the power to do something about it. They just don't.

Where are all the real men to stand up to these thugs and remove them from our communities and gene pool?

Stop glamorizing gangs. Shooting children is not glamorous it’s barbaric.

From what limited exposure I've had to this area (which despite the assumptions of "CK" is a completely different world from Angelino Heights opposite the 101) the Diamond St. gang is the ruling authority and the parents of the child victim were most likely children themselves. This residential pocket bounded by the high school, Temple and Glendale has little thru traffic making it like the insulated turf of the Avenues Gang , the site of the recent LAPD shootout in NE LA.

It will never stop in some LA neighborhoods. I grew up in Boyle Heights and left in 1990, I miss it like I miss a toothache. As a kid in the 70's, I saw a racially mixed neighborhood of Hispanics, Japanese, Russians and Jews turn to the slums. The neighborhood is now run by gangbangers and illegals, I'm honestly nervous driving through when I make an occasional trip to my favorite bakery. House values went way down when gangs started taking over streets and people were afraid to go out at night. It doesn't matter what stores you put in, Trader Joes, Starbucks, who cares if you have to pass just one lowlife gangbanger with no job who's only thing to do that day is look for trouble. No thanks!! LA sucks thanks to the gangbangers and all the illegals!!

Parent & Nanny- you sound like a victim, I bet that you are not successful, am I right?

If you want to stop gang violence, you have to dismantle the gang. One such way is you have to demand your legislators pass stiff mandatory sentencing for any gun crime, any violent crime and take the judges discretion away. There should be not minimum/maximum sentencing guidelines. It's set in concrete. You do an armed robbery, you get a life sentence. YOu will then eliminate all those are predisposed to armed robberies. Shoot someone illegally? Life sentence. Commit a rape or home invasion type burglary? Life sentence. Get caught dealing coke, meth or heroin? Life sentence.

When those folks are in prison with no chance of returning, then the community will have sent a message to the gangsters that this lifestyle only has one ending. Life in prison. People who are serving life do not return to ravage the community again.

first off my heart goes out to the family for they have lost something that can never be replaced their baby boy like alot of families in the Rampart area. You know it's one thing to say your gonna do something about it but then you must fo;;ow up on what you say. It's to bad that maybe in about 2wks or so it'll be forgotten. Come on Rampart you got a nice new station (which you said you needed) since you have mpved we dont see any patrol cars crusing our nieghborhood like we did when you had youe smaller one Oh no wait I see yall at 7-11. Angai I am so sorry for the loss and heartache the family has to suffer.

It's not only one area of Los Angeles where the innocent get shoot!!!!!!!!!!
What some people do not understand is that the gang problem is everywhere totally out of control. Mayor Villa's and his civic cronies don't ever do anything about it! Gang killings/shootings of the innocent are coming to your neighborhood soon, if they are not there already!

This is getting completly out of hand. Police officers should already have a big idea of what exactly is going on. They should have posible suspects, and should take action NOW!

A few weeks ago, perhaps two there was a shooting around 2:35 am by my house. Now the cops got one of the shooters after a helicopter showed up exactly 10 minutes later.

Two days after another shooting around 5 am on the main streets of Sunset/Echo Park.

Now C'mon! put the damn pieces together and get those gangsters! they make all the neighbors to fear the outdoors. Not many consider this area safe. not even to walk with their children! thats not right.

take them to jail already. or put all those gangsters in a box and let them shoot eachother without causing harm to anyone else, but themselves!


We can argue about the difference in geographic location and complain about law enforcement and gang members, but ultimately--we need much more than that. WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. In short, we need to get involved in the lives of ALL children. I say this because it is obvious that some people should not be parents. More so, we need to speak up. Speak up for children's rights---and living is a child's right. In closing, we need prayer. It is not important what denomination you may follow or be part of. I am not very religious, but I understand the need for a higher power during these trying times. Four year old children should not be shot while walking to community centers. We cannot rely on one faction of society, we are all responsible for preserving life and protecting the children.

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