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Two alleged gang members arrested in slaying of Long Beach high school student [Updated]

November 4, 2009 |  7:54 pm
Two reputed gang members were arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of an honors student after she left a homecoming football game Friday at Wilson High School in Long Beach, police said tonight.

Melody Ross, who was also a track athlete, was gunned down as she and her friends were leaving the game. Two men -- an 18-year-old and 20-year-old -- were wounded in the shooting, which occurred about  10 p.m. as crowds of students gathered near Ximeno Avenue and 10th Street.

[Updated 10:15 p.m.: Hundreds of people, including residents and students, joined the Ross family tonight for a candlelight vigil at Wilson High.]

The suspects are both 16-year-olds, one from the Long Beach, the other from Bellflower, the Long Beach Police Department said.  Their names were not released because they are minors.

The shooting shocked faculty and students at the campus, a diverse school that serves some of the city's most affluent communities.

Ross was dressed as Super Girl  for the homecoming game against Polytechnic High School, which was attended by a number of students decked out in costumes on the day before Halloween.

The day after the shooting, Ross' classmates gathered at a pedestrian crossing along Ximeno near the football stadium exit to leave flowers and light candles by the curb where she was shot. They hugged each other, and some sat against the school fence or on the grass with their heads down, pondering the loss of a friend they described as polite and well-liked.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Candlelight vigil. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times