A 12-year-old Whittier boy who was shot in the head on the Harbor Freeway while riding home from a Dodgers game remained in critical condition Monday as authorities continued to search for suspects in the shooting.
Richard Andrew Bautista, who underwent surgery Saturday, was heavily sedated and breathing with the aid of a respirator in Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center's intensive care unit. Officials said he was making subtle improvements.
The boy "opens his eyes to his name and he moves his arms and legs when stimulated," hospital spokeswoman Tessie Cleveland said.
She noted that he was "shot straight through the head," damaging both sides of his brain.
Meanwhile, police said they were busy collecting phone tips from the public and investigating the Friday night shooting, which they described as "totally unprovoked."
Richard was on his way home from a baseball game about 11:30 p.m. with his cousin Cynthia Ibarra and her friend Jesus Magdaleno, both 18, when the rear windshield of Ibarra's Buick Skylark was shot out between Manchester Avenue and Imperial Highway on the southbound Harbor Freeway, police said.
Ibarra got onto the Century Freeway where she flagged down a California Highway Patrol car, police said.
An unidentified witness stopped a Los Angeles Police Department car just after the shooting and said he saw a Latino man in a yellow van, possibly a Dodge, firing a "medium caliber handgun," police said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call (213) 237-1310.
Los Angeles Police Detective Tal Terrell said that by Monday morning, phone calls with possible leads were pouring in to the station, but said police are still looking for more tips.
"We really need them," Terrell said.