Leo Stallworth, KABC-TV (Los Angeles), January 29, 2008
Investigators say a racially charged gang war may be responsible for the shootings of two innocent teenage girls in Monrovia over the weekend. One of the girls died.
Detectives tell Eyewitness News that two African-American members of a notorious Monrovia gang walked up to Salas and her girlfriend and opened fire as the girls stood outside Salas’s parents’ apartment community in the 2500 block of Peck Road in unincorporated Monrovia. Salas was killed. Her friend was injured.
Homicide investigators say so far in their investigation, they believe the black gang members entered turf belonging to a rival Hispanic gang and in an act of retaliation, targeted the teens simply because they were there.
“From all indications, this girl was a truly innocent victim in this thing,” said L.A. County Homicide Detective Sgt. Edward Godfrey. “[She] was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that’s the tragic part about it.”
Detectives say since the first of the year, a violent war between black and Hispanic gangs has escalated in Monrovia and in neighboring cities.
Nearly two weeks ago, authorities say members of a Hispanic gang shot an elderly man outside of his Monrovia home.
Investigators say there have been numerous shootouts between the rivals. In one case, they say a boy riding his bike was injured by gang gunfire.