YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Baby is killed in apparent gang shooting

A pregnant family friend who was feeding the 4-month-old boy is wounded, as is a man who was standing by their car in Van Nuys.

September 28, 2009|Corina Knoll and Ari B. Bloomekatz

Police said a shooting that killed a 4-month-old boy and wounded two others in Van Nuys early Sunday was prompted by an argument between rival gang members.

The baby, Andrew Garcia, was being fed by a family friend holding him in a car parked on Kittridge Street, near the site of a celebration. Anna Contreras, 28, the friend, and Eric Ramirez, who was standing outside the car, also were shot and wounded.

Det. James Nuttall of the Los Angeles Police Department said that the baby's father "is linked to a criminal street gang" and that Ramirez is a known gang member. Contreras and the boy's mother have no criminal histories, he said. The group had been at the celebration about a block and a half away, Nuttall said.

Two assailants, who are believed to be members of a rival gang, got into an argument with the group near the car between midnight and 12:30 a.m., Nuttall said.

One of the two fired a shotgun six times at the group and both ran away, police said. Ramirez, 18, was shot along with Contreras and the baby.

The infant was "caught in the middle of a gang confrontation," Nuttall said. "It's a disturbing crime scene."

Contreras, who is pregnant, and the baby were transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where the child died shortly afterward.

Contreras was in stable condition. Ramirez walked to nearby Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

Nuttall said police were asking for the public's help in identifying the assailants, adding that "somebody has to come forward."


Los Angeles Times Articles