The parents of a 17-year-old runaway tracked down her Compton pimp and shot him dead in NorCal, says the San Francisco DA.
Calvin Sneed, a 22-year-old member of the Nutty Blocc Crips (according to the LAPD), allegedly went back up north in early June with the girl, whom he'd been pimping in the Los Angeles area.
But her parents, Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado, may have been waiting for him, reports the San Francisco Chronicle:
On June 4, Sneed was in San Francisco, driving his Toyota Camry at Meade and LeConte avenues at 2 a.m., when someone — prosecutors say it was Gilton — shot him with a .40-caliber handgun. Sneed crashed into a parked car and died a short time later at San Francisco General Hospital.
Now, Gilton and Mercado are facing charges of “murder, conspiracy to commit murder and one count of discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle.”
“Conspiracy,” because this wasn't their first alleged attempt to off Sneed. According to the DA, the couple actually traveled down to SoCal the month before, ready to get their daughter back by any means necessary.
On May 27, when the south-end gangster was parked outside 4942 Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood, “somebody approached and shot at him in his vehicle,” LAPD Detective Brian Fox tells LA Weekly. Officers questioned him at at the hospital (where his 17-year-old sex slave sat at his bedside, according to the new complaint), but his lips were sealed.
Sneed “wasn't too cooperative in calling us back,” says Fox. “With a lot of the gang cases, these gang members don't talk. They feel it's a street thing.”
In this case, though, it may have been more a paternal thing.
The couple's lawyer tells the Los Angeles Times that their 17-year-old daughter left home about a year ago, and soon started appearing in escort ads planted by Sneed. Her parents believed “she was being unduly influenced by this fellow,” the lawyer says.
So his clients tried to reach out to Los Angeles-area law enforcement for help, but claim they were shut down at every turn.
Then, early this month, opportunity struck. Via the Times:
The 17-year-old returned with Sneed to the Bay Area on the weekend of June 2 to visit an ailing relative, [attorney Eric Safire] said. She argued with her parents, who tried unsuccessfully to get Sneed to leave.
In the early hours that Monday, Safire said, Sneed was “out doing his business in a foreign gang area. We do know that he was involved in gang activity and that he was up here on his own. It's not unlikely that he would be exposed to violence.”
But according to the complaint, Mercado phoned Gilton — who was in the Mercedes SUV — at 1:57 a.m. Four minutes later, authorities said, Gilton fired the fatal shots.
L.A. cops say Sneed was also the target of a drive-by shooting in 2011 — an unsuccessful hit down in the LAPD's southeast division, at Century and Figueroa. (Much closer to Nutty Blocc Crips territory than the North Hollywood shooting.)
In an interview with CBS2, the victim's father, Charles Sneed, argues that his young son, though troubled, deserved a chance to turn his life around.
“Call him a pimp. Call him a gang banger. Paint the picture as worse as you want,” says the elder Sneed. “The fact of the matter is, he didn't deserve to die. That's the bottom line.”