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2 teen boys hit in drive-by shooting outside Grant High in Van Nuys

Los Angeles police suspect that the attack on an adjacent street was gang-related.

January 10, 2007|Hector Becerra | Times Staff Writer

Two teenage boys were wounded Tuesday outside a Van Nuys high school in what police said was a suspected gang-related shooting.

As school let out about 3:15 p.m., a 16-year-old Grant High School student and a 17-year-old former student were walking across a bridge on adjacent Oxnard Street when the occupants of a pickup possibly asked them a gang-related question, said Capt. Jim Miller of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"There may have been questions of 'where are you from,' which is common in drive-by shootings," he said.

One of the vehicle's occupants fired at least four rounds at the boys, striking one in a leg and the other in a foot.

"This area has several gangs that call this territory theirs, and there's some ongoing feuds," Miller said. "But nothing has erupted recently to say this is a feud" between two particular groups.

Miller said it was unclear whether the victims were gang members but added that he could not rule out that possibility.

About an hour after the shooting, Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. David L. Brewer visited the school and asked Principal Linda Ibach and others about the incident.

He was told that at least two girls had seen the attack.

"I can tell you right now, we have two young girls who witnessed this shooting, who right now are being attended to make sure they're emotionally stable," Brewer said. "This violence has got to stop. This is ridiculous."

Extra campus police are to be deployed at Grant today, and counselors are to be on hand to speak to students.

Brewer said that not much would change unless there were changes in the community.

"The bottom line is the community really needs to help out in many ways," he said. "This is a community problem."

School officials said the 17-year-old boy now attends a special-needs school. They said it was fortunate that other students were not near the boys when they were shot, though at least one round ended up on school property.

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hector.becerra@latimes.com

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