By Edwin Folven, 3/01/2012
Crime is Believed to be an Isolated Incident
Two juveniles and an 18 year old were arrested and charged with attempted murder for a shooting that occurred last Friday across the street from Los Angeles High School, located on Olympic Boulevard just east of Highland Avenue.
The shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m., after classes had ended for the day, in a park located across the street from the school. Det. Charlie Choe, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Gang Impact Team, said the shooting resulted from an incident that occurred earlier in the day between two students.
“There was a dispute at the school between two individuals that happened at break time. One of the persons involved called another person to come help him, and a couple of people showed up at the park after school,” Choe said. “There was a shoving match and some other people got involved, and then one of them pulled out a gun and the shooting occurred.”
The incident was possibly gang related, but Choe said that is still under investigation and he would not divulge what the initial argument was over. One of the juveniles arrested was a 15-year-old student at the school, while the other juvenile arrestee is 16 years old, and does not attend Los Angeles High. Their names were not released because they are juveniles. The alleged gunman who was arrested is an 18 year old who is not a student at the school. He was identified as Kevin Salazar, and was taken into custody at a residence in the 2700 block of San Marino Street, in the Westlake area.
One of the victims who was shot was a 16-year-old student at the school who was involved in the initial confrontation, while the second victim was a 16-year-old friend who was not a student at the school. The student had called the friend, so they could walk home together. The L.A. High School student was shot in the leg, and has since been released from the hospital. The second victim was shot in the back and remains hospitalized in stable condition. Choe would not divulge whether the gun involved was recovered because of the ongoing investigation.
“After the shooting, they (suspects) took off from the park,” Choe said. “A lot of LAPD units and school police units arrived, and the school police were able to detain the two juveniles until our officers took them into custody. After we investigated the incident, we learned that the eighteen year old was involved, and we picked him up later that night.”
Choe characterized the shooting as “an isolated incident”, and said police do not believe there is a significant gang problem at the school.
“It’s not an ongoing dispute or a rivalry between two groups. It appears it was spontaneous,” Choe added. “It could have been a fight out there, but one of them had a gun. No classes were cancelled, and we don’t think it will result in any further problems at the school.”
Choe added, however, that extra patrols have been ordered before and after school to ensure no additional incidents occur. The two juveniles are being held at Westlake juvenile Hall, and have been charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit attempted murder. Salazar is being held at Men’s Central Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.