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Halloween shooting: Do you fear random violence in your neighborhood?


A memorial was held Saturday night for Aaron Shannon Jr., the boy fatally shot in his backyard on Halloween.

6a00d8341c630a53ef013488024286970c-320wiCrime in his South L.A. neighborhood has dropped in recent years, but some residents told The Times' Scott Gold that they remain fearful about street violence:

It's a place that suffered decades of declines as jobs disappeared and gangs took root. "If I could afford to move, I would," 78-year-old Mary Hall said Friday. She lives around the corner from the duplex where Aaron was shot, in the house she and her husband bought in 1956 after moving from Mississippi. Back then, the neighborhood felt safe. Now, she said, her 6-year-old great-grandson does all of his playing indoors. Asked about the changes she has seen in the neighborhood, Hall called over her shoulder: "Oh, Lord."

Since January 2007, at least 46 other homicides have taken place within a mile of the yard where Aaron was fatally wounded, according to Crime L.A., The Times' crime database.

Florence, the South Los Angeles neighborhood where the shooting took place, ranks among the highest for violent crime in the county, according to The Times' analysis of crime reports recorded in the interactive database.

Florence was ninth-highest per capita for serious violent crime -- including homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery -- among 211 neighborhoods and cities patrolled by the LAPD or Los Angeles County sheriff, The Times found. About 434 violent crimes were reported in Florence, a neighborhood of nearly 47,000 residents, in the six months ending Sept. 26. Those crimes include 12 homicides and 226 aggravated assaults.

Do you worry about random crime in your neighborhood? Tell us how you feel.


Comments () | Archives (16)

To the residents of these killing field neighborhoods, I say this to you: "You keep electing the same do nothing politicians decade after decade. What has that brought you? Have better economic prospects? A city that's prospering? Low crime? Good schools? Think unchecked illegal immigration has brought you good things? The same thing happened last week on election day. You voted for "no change and more of the same". At a certain point, YOU must take responsibility for the mess you are in. It's terrible that this child was murdered. But if you want to fix blame on it, go look in the mirror. That's who is to blame!

The only random violence i fear in my neighborhood is ,if am involed with any violence in my neighborhood

I have lived in two separate neighborhoods in LA in the past two years. Both have been located on the westside in neighborhoods considered to be middle income neighborhoods and relatively safe. However, a fatal shooting has occurred within 200 feet of both my current home and my past apartment. There isn't a neighborhood in LA that is safe from violence anymore.

Here is my prediction for you Los Angeles .
Remember NY in the 70s!
Well Imagine NY of the 70s Now multiply that by 100 rampant gangs and small enclaves of embattled wealth!
Brought to you by corrupt leadership and selfish nimby ism.

The first commenter is right, however, it appears that they have never lived in this kind of environment. Local officials representing these areas do not send their children to any of the local schools, when they visit they have so much protection they don't feel the fear.
Working in this environment for years I have learned that most of the citizens living in this area have developed a behavior of Learned Helplessness. This type of learned behavior can be seen in the article. Most the agencies working in these area are funded to keep the people in that state, and the local leaders know that, so they build their platform around this behavior.
It becomes a circle of same

No, I don't fear random violence in my neighborhood...but then my city isn't exactly known for its high crime rate.

These folks just love being victimes. The news, press, handouts and freedom from responsibility that victimhood produced.

Also negatives like out of control neighborhoods.

Make up your mind, people, or should I say, sheep.

Violence happens at night, after people drink. As a result, my neighborhood's on lock-down when the sun sets, almost like Berlin in the late 30s. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

It's always a concern in almost all neighborhoods, but honestly, I'm more worried about violence on the freeways.

Citizen, and what mythical city do you live in?

It wasn't random. Those gang bangers meant to kill somebody, they just mistook the address.

Random? You mean having a cop shot you for no reason. Yes, I am afraid of that.

I feel Los Angeles has been on a decline for decades. I feel safe enough in my home, but I know there are certain areas in the neighborhood that my family and I shouldn't go in. The good news is, after years of high prices, the cost of a home in a better neighborhood is now low enough that my family and I are moving into a much better area in Ventura County.

Do none of you commenting on this blog have a heart? None of you mentioned the heartbreak of a parent losing their son.

Unfortunately, criminal violence can happen anywhere. In my own neighbourhood, the police swat team assembled one night two houses down and lofted a stun grenade into a neighbour's house because his son had bipolar disease and had locked himself in his bedroom. Ridiculous, I know but it happened. Up the street farther, two would be kidnappers managed to get into an estate over the locked gates and attempted to grab a teenager who was home alone except for a couple of domestic staff. Luckily he escaped out the back to the mansion next door and was not kidnapped. Foolishly the kidnappers had sent the ransom note to his parents in a foreign country before they actually had grabbed him and as a result they lost their quarry and they were caught very quickly.

syscom3, in response: I am a product of the particular neighborhood (Florence) in this article, and also a close friend to the family suffering this horrible loss. I'm actively a positive influence to others within my old neighborhood by doing various works towards educating our children within them. It humors me to read replies and comments from people who have so much to say with so little knowledge of the actual occurrences within these neighborhoods. This was a horrific and senseless crime done at the hands of certain individuals, not about "our vote". This is about education and preparation of our children within our homes and communities to assist them on making better decisions and choices in their lives. This isn't the time nor place to post voting arguments, but since you have, I must oblige: You cannot speak in generalization of these communities with regard to their vote. Voting results are from the majority, not the individual, and he/she has the right to vote for whomever. It's not anyone's position to place judgment on another for his/her voting decision. You have absolutely no clue to which individual or group voted for whichever party or candidate. If this is an argument over who is appointed into office, or which proposition passed or not, then you're very much to blame as those "killing field neighborhoods" you're chastising. There's an old saying, "When you point one finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.." So, rather than be an individual who places blames on others, be an individual of action. Uplift, Encourage, and Assist with positive energy and actions, rather than be a destructor of one's character. So, here's Your mirror, I'm holding it up for you..

With Love, Peace & Blessings..


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