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Locos

April 27, 2007 |  3:00 am

1957_0427a


April 27, 1957
Los Angeles

1957_0427c_2 Although the term "drive-by shooting" didn't appear in The Times until two decades later, what happened near 107th Street and Juniper has all the tragic characteristics that are so familiar today.

The victim was Fred Gallegos, 16, 10221 S. Broadway, whom The Times called a member of the "Quarters Gang" or "Little Quarters Gang," although Gallegos told police he was not a gang member.

The driver was Gilbert Rivera, 17, 8129 Santa Fe. Ave., a member of the "Florence Gang." His passengers were Richard Juliana, 16, 8021 Croesus Ave., and Henry Rodriguez, 18, 8127 Lou Dillon St. Police recovered two .22-caliber rifles at Rodriguez's house and two zip guns and some Molotov cocktails at Juliana's house.

According to police, Rivera's car circled the block before shots were fired into a crowd gathered at a traffic accident. Gallegos was hit in the abdomen and was taken to the Georgia Street Receiving Hospital, then transferred to what is now Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Achiello Ernest Lopez, 18, 127 E. 85th St., chased Rivera's car and got the license plate number, even though three shots were fired at him, police said.

Soon after, teenagers in a car fired shots at another auto as they went west on 66th Street between Avalon Boulevard and San Pedro Street., The Times said. (A neat trick since 66th doesn't connect to San Pedro).  One bullet hit the auto of Henry R. Elias, 19, 8125 Marbrisa Ave., who told police he was not a gang member.

Police arrested Valentino Renteria, 3280 Compton Ave.,  Henry A. Mangaser,  17,  8620 1/2  Makee Ave.,  and Joe Louis Martinez,  17,  1408  E. 59th.  and  found a shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle in the car.

Unfortunately, The Times never followed up on this story. But the violence continued. On Sept. 1, 1957, members of the "Little Quarters" standing outside 10216 Lou Dillon St. fired at a passing car in the mistaken belief that it was carrying rival gang members. They killed Emily Guzman, 18, 3238 E. 120th St., another Quarters member.

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Again, The Times didn't follow up on the story.

The next year, Florence Gang member Richard Vasquez, 17, 243 E. 119th St., was shot to death as he sat at the bus stop at 119th and San Pedro streets after he threw a bottle at a car driven by George Guerena, 244 W. 61st., a Quarters member.

And again, The Times didn't follow up on the story.

On May 12, 1959, two members of the Peewees set of the Florence Gang were shot by Quarters members near 8315 Maie Ave. The Times identified the victims as Victor Maza, 16, 347 E. 84th St., who was hit in the chest while walking along the streetcar tracks, and  Raymond Velasquez,  16,  2040  E. 76th St.,  who was  struck in the arm.

And no, The Times didn't follow up on the story.

First use of "vato loco" in The Times: 1974.

First use of the gang term "home boy" in The Times: 1975.

First use of "drive-by shooting" in The Times: 1977.

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