Two Reseda High School students were seriously wounded Friday during a confrontation with rival gang members as they waited for their bus near a busy elementary schoolyard in the Pico-Union area. The 15- and 17-year-old victims were hit in the back and left side respectively, authorities said, as they waited at the corner of 11th Street and Union Avenue.
Two rival gang members walked up, yelled their gang name and threw bottles before they fired a small-caliber handgun and fled on foot, Police Detective Richard Fox said. A County-USC Medical Center spokeswoman said the youths were in serious but stable condition.
The shootings took place in front of a youth recreation center and across the street from the 10th Street Elementary School playground, where about 50 youngsters were waiting for classes to start. “We were just lucky no other children were shot,” said the recreation center director, Edward Hill, as a worker hosed blood from the sidewalk. “I am just sorry the kids have to be exposed to stuff like this and that they will grow up thinking the world isn’t safe.”
Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Don Coleman said the corner is a “collection point” for about 40 students in the district’s busing program. A school police officer will be assigned to the area in the mornings and afternoons, said Diana Johnston, principal of 10th Street Elementary School.