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Fatal shooting caps off Athens' violent summer

Sunday saw area's 11th shooting and eighth death since June.

September 23, 2008|Francisco Vara-Orta | Times Staff Writer

The fatal shooting of an unidentified man Sunday in Athens capped off a violent and deadly summer for the unincorporated district of Los Angeles County, authorities said.

The man was shot at 10 p.m. in a carport in the 1000 block of 110th Street, said Deputy Ed Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The man was pronounced dead at the scene and authorities have no suspects.

Sunday's incident was the latest in a string of shootings in Athens over the summer. So far this year, there have been 14 shootings in the area, said Steve Whitmore, a Sheriff's Department spokesman. Eleven shootings reported since June left eight people dead.

Many in the two-square-mile community were shocked Friday night when a 12-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man, a former student at Washington Preparatory High School in Athens, were shot after a football game, officials said.

The two victims, who were shot multiple times in a parking lot of the gym, survived but have not been identified. Four people were arrested in the shooting, which was believed to be gang-related, said Det. Steve Pratt of the Sheriff's Department.

In August, Jose Alfredo Farias, 24, his brother Victor Manuel Farias, 25, and Vidal Hernandez Rebolledo, 23, were fatally shot at Imperial Highway and Western Avenue in the Athens-Westmont area, according to the Sheriff's Department. A fourth man was wounded but survived.

A few weeks later, Henry Watts, 28, was shot multiple times in the 1200 block of West 120th Street near Vermont Avenue, Sheriff's Department officials said. He died the next day at a hospital.

In July, Kimberly Bonds, 19, was fatally shot in the 13000 block of South San Pedro Street in Athens Village, and Adiel Quezada, 17, was found dead in a parking lot near an Athens market. He had been shot several times outside the store in the 13800 block of Avalon Boulevard, Sheriff's Department officials said.

In June, Emitt Love Jr., 25, was found shot to death at a bus stop near Century Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in Athens.

Anyone with information about any of the shootings is asked to call homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.

The shootings have prompted community activists to call for an increased focus on combating crime in the Athens area, said Eddie Jones, president of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Assn.

Jones said residents will gather at Washington Preparatory High School today at 8:15 a.m. to ask the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Police Department to establish a joint safety task force focused on enhancing security at the high school and reducing violent crime in the Athens area.

"The climate of fear among students at Washington Prep and among Athens residents is high," Jones said. A "task force would lessen fears and help solve the growing number of unsolved murders in the area."



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