Duarte shootings

A memorial of candles and flowers stands near the spot where Malcolm Mency, 18, was killed in a Durate shooting. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / December 23, 2013)

A shooting in Duarte left a 16-year-old boy dead Monday night, the third episode of gun violence to hit the city in two days.

Details of the latest shooting and a description of the victim were not immediately available, but the apartment complex where homicide detectives responded at about 11:45 p.m. is within a few miles of where the other recent shootings occurred.

The incidents began early Sunday, when 18-year-old Malcolm Mency was shot and killed while walking home from work.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Howard Cooper told The Times that Mency, a black father of a 1-month-old son, was probably shot by a Latino gang member who assumed he was a rival.

Hours later, Sheriff's Department officials said a young Latino man was shot and wounded by two black men who were seen leaving in a dark vehicle. Authorities believe that the two men were gang members and that the second shooting could have been the result of a "ping-pong effect" of retaliatory shootings among rival black and Latino gangs, Cooper said.

The description of Mency's shooter is vague, Cooper said. He is described as in his 20s, with a shaved head.

No weapon was recovered at the scene and no bullet casings were found. "We have nothing," Cooper said.

The shooting on Monday came on the same night friends and family held a candlelight vigil for Mency on the sidewalk where he was gunned down.

Earlier in the day, Shalonda Lockhart, 29, the oldest of his nine siblings, said that whoever shot her brother "is truly a coward."

"They shot him in the back," she said. "He was doing everything right. He was so determined to be the best father he could be. He was so excited."

Moore, who lives about a block from Mency's house, said she heard the gunshots the night he was killed. At first, she said, she thought it was fireworks, until her calls to his phone went unanswered.

The shooting death is the type of incident that one 45-year resident said happens all too often in this section of Duarte, near the Monrovia border.

"It seems like they want to hurt the other side's family," said the neighbor, looking at Mency's candlelight vigil from his frontyard. He asked to have his name withheld out of fear of retaliation by local gangs.

"It always seems to happen around the holidays," he said.

Anyone with information about Mency's killing is asked to call the Sheriff's Department homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500 or the department's Temple Station at (626) 285-7171. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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