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Girl shot during Russian roulette stunt was trying to leave room when killed, police say [Updated]

Norma Gamble was downstairs cooking dinner in her Mid-City home Sunday when she heard a gunshot upstairs.

She ran upstairs where a teenage boy who had been living with the family and two teenage girls were hanging out. She found one of the girls on the floor, bleeding profusely from a bullet wound in her lower back.

“My stomach hurts,” she said, keeled over. “Help me.”

Paramedics transported the petite teenage girl from the home in the 1800 block of Wellington Road to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. [Updated at 3:35 p.m.: Los Angeles County coroner's officials identified the dead girl as Alexis Wallace, 15. She died of a single gunshot wound to her back, according to coroner's records. Her death was listed as a homicide on the coroner's weekly report.]

Los Angeles Police Department detectives on Monday were still trying to piece together what happened. But detectives said the 16-year-old boy had been discussing Russian roulette and was loading and unloading a revolver as they girls watched.

Detectives said one of girls became uneasy as the boy kept playing with the gun. She stood to leave the room. As she was walking out, the boy pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger, not realizing there was a bullet in the chamber, police said.

When Gamble came across the bloody scene, she said, the boy was distraught, running around the room in a “chaotic state.” “The gun just went off,” he said in disbelief, throwing a handgun onto his bed.

“What do you mean? We don’t own any guns,” Gamble replied.

The boy had arrived at the gracious red-tile-roofed two-story home on a tree-lined street in the historic Lafayette Square section of Mid-City recently. Gamble said her brother, who lives with her in the home, had taken the boy in. He hoped the move from Compton would keep the teen out of trouble.

The teenager’s father had not been in the picture for years, family members said, and his mother lived in Compton. The family was hoping to give the boy a strong set of role models, and a safer neighborhood to live in. They described him as polite and peaceful.

“My brother had taken him in to give him a second chance, try and turn his life around. Teach him there’s more to life than what he’d seen: gangs, drugs, violence," said Byron Gamble, 53, another of Norma Gamble’s brothers. "You come here, you work hard, this is what you can achieve."

The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was booked and taken to Eastlake Juvenile Hall, where he is being held without bail. When Norma Gamble saw the scene in the bedroom Sunday night, she immediately called police and applied pressure to the girl’s wound.

The other teenage girl ran down the stairs in a frenzy and was later found sitting in the middle of the street by Gamble’s niece. The boy was on his way out of the house when police arrived, stopping the 16-year-old and handcuffing him.

About a dozen relatives of the killed teen, who has not been identified, showed up at the home after midnight. Norma Gamble said the girl’s mother was frantic. “Do you know my daughter is only 15?” Gamble recalled the mother saying. “And now she’s dead.”

On Monday morning a large blood stain remained on the bare mattress in the boy's room. Gamble said she threw away the linens because they were soaked.

[For the Record, added at 10:15 p.m.: The photo caption with an earlier version of this post named the suspect in the shooting, who is a juvenile, and incorrectly referred to him as Norma Gamble's nephew. It is The Times’ practice not to identify suspects who are minors unless they have been charged as adults, and that portion of the caption has been removed. This version also corrects an earlier error, in which the area where the shooting occurred was incorrectly given.]

-- Robert Faturechi in Lafayette Square and Andrew Blankstein in Los Angeles

Photo: Norma Gamble, center,  receives a hug from a relative in front of her Los Angeles home. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

Comments () | Archives (56)

Such a tragedy. My heart goes out to the family of this young girl.

I guess he was a lost cause.

how in the world did he get a hold of a gun?

Why was the mattress soaked in blood if she had stood to leave when she was shot?

You can take them out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of them. How sad for the girl and her family...

Rips my heart out and yet the retarded ring wing nuts who push guns will continue on with their useless banter .

Need to find and melt every gun ever made .
Need to shut down all the weapons manufacturing plants .
Then the retards will just have to slug it out .

Well, there's another kid getting 25 to life for the killing of a teenage girl...

This is completely tragic. My thoughts and prayers go out to the girl's family.

Where did the gun come from? Mrs Gamble said she didn't own any guns.

The kid had a Gun and bullets... Accident or not, it wasn't an accident that he had the gun and no good reason for it. Trying to impress a girl? Nice job, now she's dead, and you're facing Manslaughter or worse. That's what happens when you think your 'cool' or 'tough' because you have a gun. Let it be a lesson for adults and children alike.

You bring trouble into your house and this is what happens. And how did the kid get this gun? Give him some stiff jail time. No more free passes for juveniles.

All this b.s. cost a 15 year old girl her life.

Wonder where this kid got a revolver?? If they didn't own guns in the house, where did he get it? They should put a metal detector in the front door. Sad story, they take the kid out of the area to prevent him from the violence in the neighborhood and he brings it with him. So sad. RIP young lady.

Dosent read as the girl was playing russian roulette, reads as if the dumba** Compton punk shot her as she tried to leave the room.

"Gamble said her brother, who lives with her in the home, had taken the boy in. He hoped the move from Compton would keep the teen out of trouble."

As Dr. Phil would say... "How's that workin' out for ya?"

If you don't want to catch a disease, stay away from those who are infected. The brother should be charged with endagerment for bringing this into his sister's house.

What a fool. He should not have had a gun in the first place. Now he has ruined his life and the family of the girl he killed.

Sad and tragic story, but goes to show that you can take the boy out of the ghetto but you'll never take out the gettho out of him.

DOesnt sound like an accident to me. Sounds like the kid shot her in the back. MURDER. His first lie "the gun just went off" didnt go over well, so he made up the story about not knowing one was in the chamber.

It looks like the attempt to save this kid came too late. Playing with guns is not a good sign. Shooting a girl in the back because she had the good sense to not play along and leave a dangerous scene is EVIL.

This is sad, take a savage out of the jungle and he kills an innocent girl. When will people learn that you can not "fix" these broken people!

When are these fools going to learn that guns are not toys to be played with????

This is a tragedy!But the article is written so poorely, that is actually disturbing. Poor parents!And this young girl should of been home, not at some boy's bedroom.

Pffff....gun control, who needs it?

Wow. What a disgusting story. Moral of the story, if you have children of your own, do not endanger them by trying to help out a troubled teen. It is not worth it. My son would never be sitting in a room with a boy someone had taken in because he was troubled. He would never be allowed at a house that I did not know the parents, siblings and any other relatives inside and out. So many parents these days do not look after their own and I would never endanger my son by allowing him to be around people like that. What a horrible story.

Throw the book at him!

As the cliche goes: You can take the boy out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the boy.

sad sad sad

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