Gang members bent on revenge for an earlier attack surrounded a car at a Boyle Heights stoplight and fatally stabbed an innocent boy inside it, police said Saturday.
Alex Cordoba, 14, was stabbed and his 21-year-old cousin beaten by gang members who saw them visiting relatives Friday evening in a neighborhood controlled by a rival gang that had earlier shot and critically wounded a comrade, Police Lt. Sergio Robleto said.
“These guys assumed they (the victims) were part of that gang,” Robleto said. “An innocent visit turned out to be a disastrous drive.”
Several hours after the attack, police arrested a 16-year-old gang member and booked him on suspicion of murder. Several other youths were also detained but not immediately booked.
Robleto said the attackers apparently mistook Cordoba’s cousin for a member of the rival gang, adding that the cousin’s “only association with gangs, if you can call it that, was being at that particular place at that time.”
The events were set in motion five hours before Cordoba was killed, when a group of gang members beat up a 17-year-old member of a rival gang, Robleto said.
The 17-year-old boy was shot when he tried to run away. Paramedics took the youth to County-USC Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition. His name was withheld because of his age.
The boy’s comrades were infuriated by the attack and gathered about 8:30 p.m. Friday.