Loading...
Gangs

Gunfire Erupts at Mayor's Anti-Gang Program 'Summer Night Lights' in Sun Valley; Two Shot

Comments (0)

By

Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Mayor Villaraigosa promotes Summer Night Lights.
  • Mayor Villaraigosa promotes Summer Night Lights.
Amid proud statistics from the mayor's office on the effectiveness of his anti-gang program Summer Night Lights since it began five years ago, a shooting at the Sun Valley Park location has "set the bar back," a member of the neighborhood council tells the L.A. Daily News.

Last Thursday night, a crowd of anti-gang workers and community members had gathered at Sun Valley Park for free food, games and conversation, as they do four days a week from 7 p.m. to midnight.

But an hour before the floodlights were set to shut off...

... police say two men walked up to the gathering and opened fire. At 11 p.m., @EASTLA_NEWS wrote that the LAPD was "rolling heavy" to a shooting at the park, and that cops were "having a busy night." Tragically, two young men working for the Summer Night Lights program were hit, according to the Daily News: a 17-year-old and a 22-year-old. Both appear to be members of the "youth squad," which takes teens from the community who are "at-risk for gang involvement and engaging in gang violence" and puts them to work on a summer stipend. The good news is they're expected to recover. But the irony is inescapable: An event meant to ward off gang violence may have actually attracted it. The Daily News talked to LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman:
One man fired into the crowd, striking a young man in the hand, Neiman said. Another man was shot in the jaw. The pair fled after the shooting. The incident is believed to be gang-related, Neiman said.
Reminds us a little of the Oscar Duncan murder last month in Venice. Duncan, a known youth pastor and anti-gang worker in the area, was shot to death outside his mother's home after a reported exchange with some gangsters rolling through. Sun Valley Park is one of 32 parks in gang-plagued areas of Los Angeles that currently host Summer Night Lights events from July through September. However, this particular location is only in its second year. We've contacted program officials for comment. Updates to come.
View Larger Map [@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.