A 5-month-old girl was in critical condition Wednesday after she was thrown several feet to the pavement when a gang member deliberately drove his car into a man holding her, police said.
The infant was the third small child to become a victim of Los Angeles street gangs in the last two weeks. The other two little girls died.
Lashanique Leverett was taken to Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, where she was in extremely critical condition and on life support, said Los Angeles Police Capt. Paul Jefferson.
"All these little kids keep getting killed," sobbed Lashawnda Robertson, 17, the baby's mother. "It's not right."
At a news conference in the LAPD's 77th Street Division station, Robertson appealed to the public for help in locating the man who left her baby clinging precariously to life.
"If anybody out there knows anything, please tell us," she said.
Robertson was sitting with her baby in a car in the 100 block of West 78th Street on Wednesday when Howard Germany, 20, a family friend she described as the child's "god-brother" asked to hold the infant, she said.
Also in the car or nearby, police said, were Sylvester Leverett, 19, the child's father, a male juvenile and an auto mechanic. As he held the baby, Germany stepped out of the car and stood on the pavement, investigators said.
The people in and around the car noticed another auto driving erratically, Robertson said. "The car speeded up and the next thing you knew, it hit them," he said.
Police said the car accelerated and swerved across the unmarked center of the street and deliberately struck Germany and Lashanique about 11:15 a.m. An unidentified person standing nearby also was injured, police said.
Jefferson said investigators believe the attack was gang-related because Germany, who was hospitalized with head and leg injuries, belongs to a local street gang. The driver was a black male, 20 to 22 years old, who was wearing a blue or black beanie and a blue shirt, police said.
He escaped in a 1977 or 1978 Chevrolet Caprice two-door sedan painted silver, light blue or primer gray, investigators said. The car had tinted windows, standard hubcaps and may have damage to the left front and possibly the left side, police said.
Anyone with information on the driver or the car should call Detective Don Richards at (213) 237-1310, Jefferson said.
Earlier this month, 18-month-old Sabrina Haley was fatally wounded by shots from a car as she sat beside her father, Michael Haley, in a car stopped at a traffic light at 48th Street and Avalon Boulevard.
After receiving hundreds of calls, police arrested gang members James Taylor, 22, and Everett Butler, 19, in the infant's death. At their arraignment on murder charges, they denied killing her.