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Teenager shot to death while riding bike in South Los Angeles

Maps shows location of Wednesday's fatal shooting, in purple, as well as the location of the Christmas night shooting death of Kashmier James, marked with arrow. Click for detail about 128 other killings within two miles since January 2007. Source: Homicide Report

A 14-year-old youth was shot and killed Wednesday night while riding a bicycle in South Los Angeles, the latest probable victim of surging violence between two gangs, police said.

Taburi Watson was riding his bike near St. Andrews Place and 87th Street about 7:25 p.m. when one or more assailants fired shots.

More than one bullet struck the teenager, who staggered a short distance from his bicycle and collapsed. Neighbors came outside after hearing shots to find him lying on the ground. Taburi was declared dead after being transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

His death is the fourth in December with probable links to two warring Crips gangs in the Manchester Square and Gramercy Park areas east of Inglewood, Los Angeles Police Det. Eric Crosson said. A family buried one of the victims Thursday, even as the county morgue was arranging to receive Watson's body.

One of the murders was especially high-profile.

Kashmier James, 25, was shot about 10:20 p.m. Christmas night  after celebrating the holiday with family. She had stopped to visit a friend in the 1700 block of 85th Street near Western Avenue.

As James stood in the street outside her friend's home, two men in a blue Chevrolet Tahoe pulled up, police said. One man got out and fired nine shots at James, striking her at least once in the head. Her 3-year-old daughter witnessed the shooting from the back seat of James' car.

Relatives interviewed by KTLA-TV Channel 5 said James was not involved in gangs and was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The office of City Councilman Bernard Parks has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The manner of her killing suggests that gang members were probably responsible, Det. Samuel Arnold said.

Watson, at the time of his shooting, was wearing clothes suggesting an affiliation with one of the warring gangs, Crosson said. He was technically in “safe” territory for that gang, but near the turf of the rival gang.

Crosson called the violence part of an “escalating feud,” but added, “I’ve been in this division 13 years and they’ve been shooting each other the entire time.”

Anyone with information should call detectives at (213) 485-1383.


Video: Reward offered in Christmas shooting of Kashmier James

-- Howard Blume

Map: Location of Wednesday's fatal shooting, shown in purple, as well as the location of the Christmas night shooting death of Kashmier James, marked with arrow. An additional 128 homicides have been reported within two miles since January 2007. Source: Homicide Report

Comments () | Archives (60)

i used to think california was a cool place to live and visit but all the murders that occur day in and day out have killed no pun intended my idealistic ideas of the whole GODforsaken place

...cherish every day like it is your last...our world is coming to an end..our most innocent are the first to go...r.i.p. young one

Governor-Elect Jerry Brown...please come down and stage a (not-so-toohless) press conference to draw attention to this.

Lt. Governor Maldonado...where are you? We can't find you in the daylight with a flashlight!


It never ends. Just keeping it real (I guess).

This is such a tragic incident but sadly, as the article and accompanying map denote, not uncommon. I work within a mile and half of the homicide. The most dangerous zip code(s) in the City of LA are 90044 and 90047. They align one another per Normandie Avenue.

The Times ran a shocking but in-depth study of this region on 26th January 2010 citing the horrific number of senseless deaths. Common factors are: single parent homes, renters, young males, etc..

This is the fourteenth homicide since 2nd October 2010 - Van Ness To Main from 105 to Manchester

I'll be he thought he looked pretty cool wearing his gang colors...

Don't know why we should care, the black community doesn't seem to mind all the violence and death!!! Blacks kill blacks at an alarming rate, and not one peep from Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or the NAACP!!! But if a cop shoots a black suspect, they are all outraged and whipping up the community with marches and rallies!!! Probably looking for a payout from the city to keep the peace!!! How many people have to die before these communities finally raise up and take on these thugs????

Relax people, relax; just remember, these GANG-BANGERS, who are blowing away your children into millions of pieces, are on the streets because the BIGGER-BADDER CRIMINALS are safely locked-up downtown.....

Those HOMELESS VETERANS who sleep outside....LOCKED-UP!
Those JAYWALKERS who can't pay $25 fines..........LOCKED-UP!
Those PEOPLE WHO SMOKE too close to doors.......LOCKED-UP!

Don't you feel better now? Any of you gonna let you kids go play outside?

This is so sad! I have two sons 15 and 19 and would be devastated if anything ever happened to them. Fortunately I can afford to live in an affluent neighborhood.

This young man was probably enjoying his new bike he received as a Christmas present. These animals should be tracked down and put under the jail. God bless this poor boys family.

No respect for life in these hoods, greatest country on earth?

I don't think that was the only killing last night. The police had the yellow tape up about a block north/east of Florence and Van Ness, and there was also yellow tape up at the intersection of Van Ness and 38th Place. There was a lot of activity going on last night.

This is really disgusting. How long 'til we simply learn how to get these fools to quit doing it?

100 years ago you could walk the streets of any part of Los Angeles and not be attacked by anyone. Then came Diversity and then came Crime. Have you ever seen old post cards of how beautiful Westlake Park was in 1920? This place was the Garden of Eve. How is Diveristy working for you?

Awful, tragic, but not surprising. Violent films, violent TV, violent video games, violent music, violent heros, violent history, violent families. The only thing that surprises me is that there are not more murders in the "better off" parts of LA..

Why are all the killings in South Central LA classified as gang related or is it just an easy way to explain them away. Police has verified that the young lady murdered Xmas night was not a gang member but her murder is still classified as gang related because they say she must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. If she was not a gang member, why is her murder being classified as a gang related homicide?

Bunch of animals.

Macca Doo - yeah boyo this IS the greatest country the greatest. If tell me and the rest where?

The USA permits dialogue - we ain't perfect we're the USA - Lincoln said 'mankind's last hope' the USA.

Ven pronto Signor Jesus

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! Is that day here yet???
I DONT KNOW??? What I do know is that the STREETS
of parts of L.A are very unsafe for WOMEN and CHILDREN
and even YOUNG MEN!!!
I wrote a comment about the violence in the TIMES
I said that TENANTS and LANDLORDS need to get together
and sign a PETITION to get a SAFE STATION in every block
of neighborhood in your CITY and have UNDERCOVER COPS
work the BEAT so that these GANGS have no CHANCE OF
RUNNNING and once caught the PETITION says they can never

Cops are not going to fix this!!!! they need the violence for funding and job security. If the crime rate in LA is at its lowest since the early 60's if I remember correctly, imagine how low it would be if they fixed this problem.

@Recovered I'm sure that's what Ronni Chasen thought.

Why is it so hard to find out anything that is going on? The media does not cover it unless it is some special circumstance! What gangs are warring? What area's should we be on high alert? Anyone of what the consider minor would put us in red alert by homeland security standards. When do our lives matter? There was a drive-by shooting across the street from my house on Crenshaw Blvd South of Manchester blvd. at least one person was shot and two different shooting sites at least 1/4 mile apart yet nothing in the media. Is this not news worthy, I imagine this is part of the warring gangs but I haven't heard a peep and this happened the day after Christmas. How can I best protect my family if I don't know whats goping on!

Terroist State

Pick up a newspaper from 30 years ago and you'll find this same story. As another poster stated where is the outrage from the black community? Why do they continue to allow this to continue? Why are Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, the NAACP mute on this matter - they only make noise when a policeman (especially a white policeman) shoots a thug. Pathetic. It only shows they're interested in promoting themselves.

My condolences to the family. Rest in piece Taburi.

The overwhelming majority of this type of crime is by blacks and Mexicans and we all know. The blacks and Mexicans know it too and they hate themselves. They can't do well in school and it's just a vicious cycle. We could stop this insanity if we could ever have an honest discussion about it, but the moment someone says the truth, they get called a racist. We should start by declaring war on gangs and simply arrest them and throw them in jail---forever. That would make everyone happy except weak-minded liberals. We'll let them visit the animals all they want.

Thank God my sister and I moved our widowed mother out of southern California a few years ago. I once ask her why she kept fluent in her Spanish and she said so she would have some idea what a couple hispanics were saying about her while she waited at the bus stop in San Diego. When the family moved to southern California during the Second World War my Father thought the place was just wonderful. Drive through some areas now and all the business stores have bars on the windows to detrer breakins. The best thing that could happen now is for the whole area to slide off into the ocean during an earthquake, maybe the San Andreas fault could help in doing this cure. No, I am not serious, but the government doesen't seem to be able to solve the problems, maybe too much political correctness is the problem.

This is heartbreaking. I love living in LA, but stories like this make me catch my breath. The crime rate is really high, and many of murders are senseless slayings of teenagers and innocent children. People wonder why I want to work in Homicide and Violent Crime....I think about all the murders in this city. How many of them go unsolved? How many of those *animals* get locked up and how many get away? I think that we should work harder towards taking people who kill kids off the streets. I know that the young man mentioned was a member of a gang but he was still somebody's baby. If we can keep kids from joining gangs as children and young teens, we can prevent so much of the violent crime that occurs in LA.

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