Cindy Chang and Jaclyn Cosgrove
Los Angeles Times
Four people were shot in Watts on Thursday evening after the funeral procession for Nipsey Hussle had passed through the neighborhood, the latest in a recent uptick of violence in South Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said three men and one woman were shot near the intersection of 103rd and Main Street. One of the victims later died. The suspects drove away in a gray Hyundai.
“We must stop this senseless violence,” Moore said on Twitter.
The shooting occurred after the procession for the slain rapper had left Watts, and there are no indications at this time that the violence was connected to the memorial.
Hussle’s killing on March 31 in front of his clothing store made international headlines. Moore and other community leaders have said his death is part of a larger increase in killings in the area.
In the week leading up to Hussle’s death, 11 people were slain in L.A. — more than double last year’s weekly average.
About half the killings occurred in South L.A. All of the victims were black or Latino.
Officials described the recent surge as possibly a back-and-forth between rival gangs.
At a meeting of the Watts Gang Task Force on Monday, Capt. Louis Paglialonga of the LAPD’s Southeast Division described a recent surge in shootings in Watts that may be a back-and-forth between rival gangs.The beginning of the year had been quiet, Paglialonga said, with no homicides in Southeast until the beginning of March.
But after Denzel Gordon, 21, was killed in Jordan Downs on March 27, another man was killed near the Nickerson Gardens housing development the next day.
Investigators are unsure whether the second killing was a domestic dispute or retaliation for Gordon’s death.
On Saturday, Gordon’s friends held a carwash and vigil for him, Paglialonga said. Soon after that, a man who police think was a member of the Bounty Hunters, a Bloods gang, was killed in front of Nickerson Gardens. Later Sunday, Paglialonga said, two members of the Grape Street Crips were shot and wounded in Jordan Downs.
The LAPD has assigned extra officers to Watts to try to stem the violence, Paglialonga said.
“We are in enforcement mode,” Paglialonga said. “My job is to save lives.”
The night Hussle was shot, Moore noted on Twitter that the killing represented “the latest loss in a troubling surge in violence…. Since last Sunday, 26 victims have been shot & 10 homicides — that’s 36 families left picking up the pieces. We will work aggressively with our community to quell this senseless loss of life.”
There have no been reports of violence related to the Hussle procession, which drew tens of thousands to the streets of South L.A.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.
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