Residents, police march in Wilmington amid spike in violence
Community members and Los Angeles police have begun marching in Wilmington to take back the streets in the wake of increased violence, including several slayings, in the area.
The marches are scheduled through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and are starting at the Holy Family Church at 1220 Sanford Ave. The idea grew out of a community meeting at the church last week that was attended by more than 300 people, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
"The power that 300 people have when they are energized far outweighs the number of additional police officers I can put in the area," Deputy Chief Patrick M. Gannon told The Times.
Last week, Gannon ordered additional officers in the area. "But it's those 300 residents and hopefully many others that I'm counting on to truly help make the community safe," said Gannon, commander of the LAPD's South Bureau, which includes Wilmington.
The marchers have included officers, longtime residents and newly elected Councilman Joe Buscaino.
In recent weeks, at least four people have been shot to death in Wilmington. The killings included an incident in which two people were gunned down Jan. 30 and a suspected gang-related attack that left a 40-year-old man dead two days earlier.
In another incident, an attempted murder suspect shot at officers in an alley Jan. 31 as the officers were searching for a suspect. No injuries were reported in that shooting.
Since January 2007, at least 61 homicides have been reported in Wilmington, according to a Times Homicide Report database.
Map shows homicides reported in Wilmington since January 2007. Credit: Times Homicide Report