Prosecutors charged three black gang members today with killing two Latino boys and an adult as they talked in the frontyard of their South Los Angeles home last year, saying the assailants picked the victims at random because they could not find any gang rivals to shoot.
The charges cap a nearly one-year investigation, with detectives concluding that the members of the Rollin’ 30s gang fired on the victimswho had no gang tieswhile driving around the neighborhood looking for members of another gang, the Eastside Treys.
The shooting stirred concerns about race-related violence in South L.A., especially at a time when the LAPD says that race-motivated gang crimes are on the increase. But the Los Angeles Police Department insists that the shooting was not race-motivated, rather it was fueled by a gang feud.
The gunmenidentified as Ryan T. Moore, Lawrence William Island Jr. and Charles Ray Smithfired more than 30 rounds from two AK-47 assault rifles on a June 30 afternoon after climbing out of a vehicle.
Moore, 33, and Island, 24, were to be arraigned this afternoon downtown. Smith, 37, is a fugitive wanted on a murder arrest warrant.
Each of the three faces three counts of murder, with the special circumstance of multiple murder and murder to further a gang, and one count each of attempted premeditated murder.
The Rollin’ 30s is one of the top 11 gangs being targeted by the LAPD as part of a wider push against gang violence in the city.