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Mar 05,2008
6-year-old shot in LA
by UPI

LOS ANGELES - A 6-year-old Los Angeles boy was shot in the head by suspected gang members Tuesday as his family drove through a violence-plagued neighborhood, police said.

The Los Angeles Times reported that two Latino males flashed gang signs before opening fire on the red GMC Yukon with six people inside, including the victim's mother, who is eight months pregnant.

Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said the sports utility vehicle's rear window was shattered by gunfire, and one round hit the boy in the head.

The black family, which was heading to an auto auction at the time, was not from the neighborhood, where racial tensions between Latino gangs and black residents have simmered, the newspaper reported.

"This is an area that is under the influence of a Latino gang," Bratton said.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, joining Bratton at an afternoon news conference to discuss the shooting, said he was disturbed by unprovoked gang attacks in recent weeks.

"What's been particularly disturbing is the sensational nature of some of these incidents," Villaraigosa said. "It was people minding their own business. This wasn't a gang battle."

Police were searching for suspects, the newspaper said.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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