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5 year-old killed over Halloween costume, in South L.A. over gang colors

I’m sure I’ll get plenty of static for saying this, but no child’s life should be taken over ‘gang colors’ in a costume. What a kid can’t be a kid trying to trick or treat without being killed over wearing a ‘Spider-man’ {red/blue}costume.


LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Arms flexed in a muscleman pose, Aaron Shannon Jr. was getting ready for a Halloween party while his grandfather snapped photos of him in a Spiderman costume.
Suddenly, the click of the camera lens was replaced by the pop, pop of gunfire and the 5-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed.
The Oct. 31 attack — blamed on misdirected gunfire from suspected Crips gang members raiding Bloods turf — harkened back to the carnage of the 1980s and early ’90s when brazen young men patrolled the streets of the area once called South Central and gave little thought to living or dying.

Then, Aaron’s death likely would have flared the Crips-Blood rivalry even further and been followed by a retaliation shooting, then another and so on.“In the old days, this would have been a massive bloodbath,” said Guillermo Cespedes, head of the city’s gang reduction program.

Residents incensed by the killing of a child were quick to provide details to police, who on Friday announced the arrest of Marcus Denson, 18, and Leonard Hall, 21. Both are alleged members of the Kitchen Crips, which for years has been warring with a subset of the Bloods known as the Swans.

Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon estimated as many as 15 additional shootings were stopped.
The boy’s shooting and the days that followed have served as both a reminder of the strife that is all too common in the hardscrabble neighbourhoods of South Los Angeles, and a sign of how much has changed.
Aaron was standing with friends and relatives in the neatly kept yard of his family’s yellow stucco duplex when the shooting occurred. The bungalow is in the heart of gangland but no one in the family is connected to a gang.

One block from the house is South Central Avenue, a busy corridor leading to downtown that cuts through industrial areas and impoverished communities of auto-repair shops and low-slung food marts. In Aaron’s neighbourhood, the road bisects Crip and Blood territories.more


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