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Infant killed in Van Nuys gang shooting

September 27, 2009 |  2:50 pm

Police said the shooting that killed a 4-month-old boy and injured two others in Van Nuys early this morning was prompted by an argument between rival gang members.

The baby, Andrew Garcia, was being fed by a family friend who was holding him inside a car parked at 14300 Kittridge Street, close to the site of a party. Anna Contreras, 28, the friend, and Eric Ramirez, who was standing outside the car, also were shot and injured.

LAPD Det. James Nuttall said the baby’s  father “is linked to a criminal street gang” and that Ramirez is a known gang member. Contreras and the boy’s mother have no criminal history, he said. The group had been at the party about a block and a half away, Nuttall said.

Slain infant

Two suspects, believed to be members of a rival gang,  got into an argument with the group near the car  between midnight and 12:30 a.m., Nuttall said.

One of the two suspects fired a shotgun six times and both fled on foot, police said. Ramirez, 18, was shot, along with Contreras and the baby.

The infant was “caught in the middle of a gang confrontation,” Nuttall said. “It’s a disturbing crime scene.”

Contreras, who is pregnant, and the baby were transported to UCLA Medical Center, where the child died shortly afterward. Contreras was in stable condition. Ramirez walked to nearby Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

Nuttall says police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects involved and says, “Somebody has to come forward.”

Anyone with information about the crime can call police at (818) 374-0040.

-- Corina Knoll and Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: Andrew Garcia. Credit: The Garcia family

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