Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Why Shoot? 'For the Hell of It'

March 18, 1993|Michael Quintanilla | Times Staff Writer

Tina, 15, has been a member of the Primero Flats gang in South-Central L.A. for three years. But she quit fighting and carrying guns when she became pregnant four months ago. She recently returned to school as a condition of her probation for auto theft. I've shot at someone. It was for revenge. What happened was that one of our homeboys had been killed. We found out about it and said, "Let's go do something."

Me and my homegirls got in a car and went to the other gang who had killed our homeboy. The guys came to the car. We asked them, "Did you kill our homeboy?" and they said, "We don't know nothing."

They started talking to one of my homegirls and me, and as they got near we just shot them. At that moment, with my hand on the trigger, you feel like you have to do it. That's what you think in your head: I want to kill him because I'm mad at what happened--all you're thinking is that you want to get revenge. They killed him, so I want to kill one of them.

Last year I didn't care if I was killed. Five guys from my gang got killed. I thought, "If they kill me, too bad." At least I was up for my neighborhood and at least I'm gonna take one of them down with me. That's what you think. If I die, I die. If I kill them, I don't care either. But now I have something else to do with my life. I'm gonna have a baby. I want my baby to grow up in a different way. I fear for my own life. They'd kill me now even though I'm four months pregnant.

Why do we kill? Gang members don't care. They know it is wrong to kill somebody. They know it is against the law. They believe in God and everything, and they still go and kill people. I guess that's just the way it goes. It's survival and I guess, in a way, to get respect. Like who's the best.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|