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Carson Mourns Player's Killing

October 03, 2000|GARY KLEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The mood was somber on the Carson High campus Monday as students, faculty and administrators mourned a football player shot to death over the weekend.

Dominick Batiste, 18, was killed when the car he and three other Carson players were riding in came under fire from a passing vehicle near Cyrene Drive and Tajauta Avenue in Carson about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives are investigating the incident.

"It appears to be a random act of violence," Sgt. Richard Longshore of the sheriff's department said. "There is nothing to indicate the [shooter or shooters] knew the identities of the victim or the others in the car."

Crisis counselors were on campus Monday and will return for as long as needed to help students and school staff through the grieving process, said Jeff Davis, an assistant principal at Carson.

"We did a lot of catharsis-type of things to try and help them get through this," Davis said. "This is a very, very close team and a community school."

Carson football Coach John Aguirre said Batiste was a reserve cornerback who transferred to Carson from Gardena High in February. Aguirre said Batiste excelled for Carson's special teams and made several key plays in the defending City Section champions' 21-7 victory over Fontana A.B. Miller on Friday night.

"He was a real hard-working kid," Aguirre said. "He never missed a practice. He was serious about learning and working hard to improve."

Carson football players were scheduled to attend a film session Monday afternoon in preparation for Thursday night's game against Locke, though Davis said coaches were going to gauge the team's mood before deciding whether to practice.

"A lot of the kids said, 'Dominick would want us out there,' " Davis said. "That's just the kind of kid he was. He was a real team guy."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information can call sheriff's detectives at (323) 890-5500, Longshore said.

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