WATTS (CBSLA) — Police are investigating a shooting in Watts that left a 7-year-old boy injured Wednesday night.
A spokesperson for the LAPD said officers were in the area of Wilmington Ave. and 109th St. around 8:20 p.m. when they heard gunfire and saw a man running from the scene.
Officers set up a perimeter and discovered a boy had been shot in the lower body. The victim, identified as Joseph Mancilla, was taken to an area hospital, according to LAPD. He was reportedly in stable condition and was with family members late Wednesday.
Investigators say the child was with another boy when he was shot. They don’t believe the victim was the intended target.
The victim’s sister, Vanessa Sanchez, told CBS2/KCAL9 she called out to the children when she saw a weapon.
“All the kids were outside playing. We were outside and that’s when shots were fired,” Sanchez said, recalling her reaction. “Once I’d seen the rifle, I automatically thought about the kids. ‘Get inside, get inside, everybody get inside,'” she remembered yelling. “That’s when shots were fired.”
Police say a rifle was recovered, and a five-block perimeter was set up by investigators.
LAPD Cmdr. Al Labrada said there will be continued police presence on scene throughout the night as police continue the search for the suspect.
Labrada also said police received video of the suspect from a nearby residence and that there was at least one car left at the scene by the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD’s Southeast Division.