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Teen suspects in slaying of Long Beach honors student could be tried as adults

November 6, 2009 |  6:42 am

Los Angeles County prosecutors could decide as early as today whether to charge as adults two alleged gang members who gunned down a Long Beach honors student.

The two teens allegedly opened fire a week ago outside Wilson High School after the homecoming football game, striking a popular 16-year-old student who police said was an innocent bystander.

Two men -- an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old -- were wounded in the shooting, which occurred about 10 p.m. as crowds of students gathered near Ximeno Avenue and 10th Street. Police believe the men may have been the intended targets.

Police believe the shooting was the result of a gang feud. Detectives have not released the names of the suspects because they are juveniles. The Press-Telegram reported that the alleged shooter was a member of a violent Crips gang and had been arrested earlier this year in connection with an armed robbery and had spent time in juvenile hall. The teen was allegedly a close associate of another gang member who was gunned down earlier this year.

At first, detectives struggled to find witnesses, even though hundreds of students were on campus when the shooting occurred. Police said more students came forward Monday, some at the urging of school officials.

The shooting shocked faculty and students at the campus, a diverse school that serves some of the city's most affluent communities.

The shooting victim, Melody Ross, was wearing a "Supergirl" costume the for the homecoming game against Polytechnic High School, which was attended by a number of students decked out in costumes on the day before Halloween.

--Shelby Grad