Tracy Manzer, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Feb. 24
[Note on American Patrol: “A report aired on KCBS-TV indicated that a relative of the victim blames fast growing tensions between Latinos and blacks in the area. The report said the victim was not in a gang, but that the perps appeared to be Hispanic gangsters.”]
LONG BEACH — Gang members unleashed an onslaught of gunfire on a group of Cabrillo High School students Thursday afternoon, killing one junior and wounding a sophomore.
The boys and their friends were attacked a couple of blocks from their high school campus and just steps from the Long Beach Police Department’s West Division Patrol Station. It was about 1:30 p.m., not long after the Westside campus had let students out for the day, and the sidewalk and streets were filled with passers-by and motorists, said Sgt. David Cannan, a Long Beach Police Department spokesman.
“The fact that they would do this across from the (police) station, in the middle of the day with all these people around, goes to show the type of personalities we’re dealing with,” the sergeant said. “This was beyond brazen.”
As the shots rang out, Cannan said, officers in the West Division Station ran out onto Santa Fe Avenue to find complete chaos. People were running in all directions and screaming. Although police locked down the neighborhood, the shooter or shooters were able to run away, Cannan said.
Witnesses told police that a group of Cabrillo students, fewer than 10, were walking down Parade Street toward Santa Fe when the pack of gang members confronted them. The two groups exchanged heated words and then at least one of the gangsters pulled out a gun and began to open fire.
It was not yet known if the victims, or any of their friends, had any gang connections, Cannan said.