LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City leaders on Friday said it’s time to take a stand against increasing crime in Los Angeles.
The leaders pointed to the shooting of three children outside a South LA taco stand at 94th and Figueroa on Wednesday evening. (The kids are expected to make a full recovery.)
KCAL9’s Amy Johnson was there when city leaders called for an end to all the bloodshed.
Through tears, one mother — speaking Spanish — asked for an end to violence and gun play.
Her 13=year-old son was one of the three children shot at the taco stand.
Police believe the kids were innocent bystanders who got caught up in the cross hairs of a gang fight.
“My sister went to a taco stand with her father and became the victim of an altercation gone bad,” said Alma Zepeda, one of the victim’s sisters.
Her sister remains in the ICU.
“We’re just hoping for the best,” said Zepeda.
Family and loved ones of crime victims attended a news conference Friday also attended by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“We must, as a city, find a way for our young people,” said Beck, “to solve their disputes that doesn’t involve a gun.”
The city has added 200 officers to the area as well as gang reduction and youth development teams.
But they also called on the public.
“We need your help,” said Garcetti, “to make justice is served in this case, and sets an example, for anyone who would have the cowardice to shoot, crossfire, at children, will be brought to justice.”
Family members singled out gang violence as something that must end.
“It really has to stop,” said Vanessa Bluford, whose sister was also shot at the taco stand. “These kids getting shot innocently. They were just eating tacos. She’s a straight A student.”
The news conference was planned in tandem with an eighth annual national day of remembrance for murder victims — the local event was held in Leimert Park at 6:30 p.m.