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Gunmen Who Killed Boy, 14, Still at Large

September 25, 2003|Jose Cardenas | Times Staff Writer

A memorial on a grassy yard marked the spot Wednesday where a 14-year-old boy was killed by stray gunfire in front of his East Los Angeles house.

Fernando Centeno was sitting outside in the 4300 block of Tuttle Street about 4 p.m. Tuesday when gang members in a car fired several shots at a rival gang member walking on the sidewalk, authorities said.

"We are hurting," the teenager's father, Francisco Centeno, said Wednesday. "I can't speak about the memories."

His son had just begun his freshman year at Garfield High School, Centeno said.

Neighbors said the youth always carried his books home from school, and loved to play guitar.

Centeno had just placed trash cans by the curb and was sitting on a car in his yard, talking to his sister, when the small, light-colored car drove by.

As a gang member walked by, police said, about five shots were fired from the passing car.

Several neighbors, including a nurse and a man carrying a first-aid kit, tried to help the boy, who died at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

The killers were still at large.

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