Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Grandfather details Halloween shooting that left boy gravely injured

Halloween-shooting A 5-year-old boy was clinging to life Monday after being shot in the head by suspected gang members while in the backyard of a South Los Angeles home as he prepared for Halloween, police said.

Aaron Shannon Jr. ran into the backyard to show off his Spider-man costume Sunday to his uncle, grandfather and cousin when two men armed with handguns opened fire in the alley behind the home. At least one of the rounds struck Aaron in the back of his head; his uncle was hit in the leg and grandfather on the wrist.

The family, police say, has no ties to gangs.

“This is absolutely horrific. This is 2 p.m. on Halloween. This little boy was getting ready to go trick or treating. It is one of the most exciting days of the year for young children and then they opened fire on this innocent family,” said Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Pat Gannon, who oversees South Los Angeles’ policing.

“There is no reason for this shooting. It makes no sense. This family has no gang ties. The shooters … they are nothing but cowards.”

William Shannon, Aaron’s grandfather, speaking from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said doctors were still working on Aaron and doing a second round of tests to determine if he is brain-dead.

"These guys need to be taken off the streets," he said of the shooters, appealing to the public for help in capturing the two assailants.

The shooting, he said, came without warning.

“We were in the backyard and [Aaron] was in his Halloween costume … he was very excited and was showing his speed and agility as Spider-man. He was showing the costume’s muscles like they were his and I took a couple photos,” William Shannon said.

Aaron, who attends elementary school in Compton, was going to a Halloween party in Inglewood, the grandfather said.

Shannon said he saw two black males in their 20s walking in the alley behind the home. He said he nodded to acknowledge them. Shannon said he then heard a popping sound like small explosions or fireworks.

“I saw one of the men move to position himself to get a clear shot off and he pointed a weapon and pulled the trigger,” the grandfather said. “I turned around and I got shot in the left wrist and he continued to fire as we were running.”

When the gunfire stopped, Aaron was down.

“My grandson was in a pool of blood in his Spider-man costume. They shot him in the back of the head,” Shannon said.

Aaron’s grandfather said he had never seen either of the men before the shooting. He said he raised his boys to stay away from gangs.

Gannon said that while the family has no gang connections, the 1000 block of East 84th Street, where the shooting occurred, is in an active gang area with rivalries. The gunmen, he said, would have seen their victims. “Nothing was said to anybody,” Gannon said.

The deputy chief said he believes the community will identify the shooters. “Even among gangsters this is unacceptable,” Gannon said.

The area is known for conflicts. Gannon said that just two weeks ago, officers shot a man with gun nearby.

“This is an awful thing for a family to deal with,” Gannon said.

-- Richard Winton

Photos: LAPD via KTLA News.

Comments () | Archives (37)

Shooting at a family about to take an excited little boy trick-or-treating. You can't get any lower than that. God help us.

"... said Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Pat Gannon, who oversees South Los Angeles’ policing."

What policing?

If you live in a gang infested area and are a young black male between the ages of 14 to 30 you are automatically a gang banger especially when there are serveral of yo present - whether you acknwoledge it or not - it's just assumed by other gang bangers which is why you move out of these crap holes.

I don't believe the death penalty is meant to be a deterrent. Some people are just ignorant and do not think or care of the consequences.

I support the death penalty because it helps get rid of people who are no longer able to live within the norms of all civilized societies (i.e. don't kill, rape, or otherwise disrespect life).

I hope and pray the little kid in this story makes it out alright from this.

I hate THUGS!!!

This is so sad! Take back your neighborhoods. Turn in the gang bangers. Zero tolerence.

Wow I'm going to pray for your little man, and if the father needs some Gee help to put law down, I'm with you!!
That could have been anyone of our children.

What can anyone say to console this family?Gangmembers wiil kill and die for a street but won't step up to defend this nation? Every gangmember look a like should be profile and labeled yhis I would approve

That is one of the most awful things i have ever read. feel so horrible for this sweet little boy and his family. Horrible.

My thoughts go out to this poor little boy's family, and I hope he is able to recover.

People who can do this are monsters. I cannot believe in the death penalty, but they should be locked up forever, they should never be allowed out with decent people ever again.

I hope to God this little boy makes it. At least he has a loving, wonderful family and he looks so happy and proud in these photos.

Heartbreaking! I know the uproar that ensues when people call for gun control, so; I'm calling for a ban on bullets.

You "sportsmen" can fire nerf bullets if you need to carry and gun to feel macho.

I heard Latin gangs have to kill a black person when they enter the gang. Is this one of those? My heart goes out to this family. There are no words. These gangs-black, white, brown need to have only one kind of justice meted out. There are enough in jail as it is.

Move out of that area of town. Cops won't do anything. Might violate the gang's rights and get sued.

What a sick joke.

Not normal gang behavior - usually if this happened it would be a cross-fire situation.

Very very sad, my heart goes out to the family.

You COWARDS!!!! YOU WILL BE CAUGHT SOME DAY, EITHER BY THE POLICE OR BY THE SAME WAY YOU DID THIS FAMILY!! YOU COWARDS!!, real men don't use guns to fight their battle they use their fist to make a point!!!, but the sissy COWARDS YOU ARE, you chose to shoot where a kid was playing, and hit him!! Prison will not be good to you when your caught! cowards

Is there a fund set up to help this family with medical bills?

Low-life vermin cowards, they saw the baby and still shot. I pray for a miracle for little Aaron and his family.

Dear family of this precious little boy, I am hoping and praying Aaron comes out of this. I cannot tell you the sorrow I feel for your family. Leave this place and make a life somewhere where a five year old little boy can safely show his Halloween costume to his family. I am truly so sorry...

If the killers are found to be BLACK, will they be be sent back to AFRICA? Let's send everyone back to their country of orgin.

This is so awful, I dont have words. You Know Lord. Only you know. Comfort this family, bring your healing power and let these people be found and justice be done.

That 14-30 year-old age range has apparently been expanded now to include preschoolers and grandparents. Did the gangsters change the rules when they ran out of eligible prey ?

why should they be forced to move we need legislation to make it an automatic death penalty for gang association that will end the gangs in one fell swoop no more gangs and no more gang members!

This is such a tragic reality of our current society. To say this is heartbreaking is an understatement.

@Marlena.....Move out of the crapholes huh.....and what about the people who can't afford to move out? Just keep dodging bullets. Why doesn't the National Guard eliminate gangs and make Americans safe. Our military goes half way around the world to "make us safe" , yet we have terrorists in our own neighborhoods, but since high ranking officers and politicians don't actually live in the area they serve, nothing changes.

Wondering what lurks inside the minds of those who shot this boy and his grandfather. Where did this mindset start and how did it develop?

My heart, soul, mind and love around this boy and his grandfather.

We need love in this place of historical hate.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: