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Street Near School Closed to Deter Shootings


VENICE — School officials will barricade a street adjacent to Venice High School during school hours in an attempt to prevent drive-by shootings like the one that left three students wounded last May.

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday agreed to let the school block off Zanja Street from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

The new school year began Tuesday. The barricades will be in place in about a week.

Cars can still drive past the campus on Venice Boulevard and Walgrove Avenue, the street where three teen-age boys were shot from a passing car in May. But the closure of Zanja will prevent the popular and provocative pastime of young people, including some gang members, who circle the campus in their cars.

"It's been a pattern, kids in cars will come around campus to see what the kids in school are doing," acting Principal Bud Jacobs said. "They are kids out joy riding during the school year.

"What we are trying to do is stop the distractions and prevent (students) from having any kind of exchange with kids who are driving by the campus," Jacobs said.

Zanja Street runs along the south side of the Venice High School campus and past the school's athletic fields.

Screens have also been installed along some of the school's perimeter fence to discourage interaction between students and outsiders. A parents group and school officials hope to install more screens, Jacobs said.

Police said two rival Latino gangs were parties to the May shooting, in which three boys were shot as they lingered outside a school gate a few minutes after the last morning bell had rung.

The attackers flashed weapons and shouted gang names before opening fire.

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