Del Rey used to be one of the last communities on the Westside where “regular” folks could still afford a home. Today there are real estate listings in the area between Culver City and Playa Vista priced near $1 million and more.

But gentrification doesn't always drive out horrific crime, at least not immediately. There's still a housing project in the area, Mar Vista Gardens, and a gang, Culver City Boys.

Police say they're probing possible gang ties to the shooting of an 8-year-old boy who was sleeping in his bedroom overnight yesterday when he was struck by a stray bullet.

“The incident is being considered a gang-related shooting” for now, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Sara Faden told us. “Our gang experts are looking for a connection.”

The shooting was reported “a few minutes shy of midnight” Sunday at a home in the 11900 block of Wagner Street, she said. That's just about three blocks from the projects that the local gang has called home for decades.

A father was expecting his 20-year-old son to come home, so he left a front security screen door unlocked, Faden said. When he heard someone come in, he wasn't alarmed, she said.

However, that person was the suspect, not the son, she said. The male proceeded to argue with the dad before chasing him around the house and unleashing 10 rounds with a gun, she said. The suspect ran and hasn't been seen since.

The dad wasn't hit, but one of the rounds pierced a wall and entered the bedroom of the boy, police said. A little earlier the father had put the 8-year-old to bed after he passed out in his father's room, cops said.

The boy was stabilized after being admitted to a hospital in critical condition and undergoing surgery, Faden said.

Police last night told reporters they don't believe the gunman and the dad knew each other.

Anyone with information on the attack should call police at 310-482-6334.

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