A 14-year-old boy walking home late Thursday has become the 48th person killed in Compton this year as the city struggles with a skyrocketing homicide rate blamed on local gangs, officials said Friday
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives have few clues to work with, and no witnesses who have come forward. “Detectives have little to go on,” said Deputy Colin Matsumoto.
The boy was shot about 10:30 p.m. as he walked along the 2200 block of North Paulsen Avenue, Matsumoto said
He said the teenager’s name was being withheld pending notification of his family,
The homicide is the eighth in the last four weeks. Compton, with a population of 96,000, has surpassed its 39 homicides in 2004.
At least another four killings this year have occurred in unincorporated areas within blocks of the city.
At the current pace, Compton’s homicide rate would rise far beyond recent highs in major American cities.
Under increasing pressure, Mayor Eric Perrodin earlier this month announced the city would crack down on gang crime by seeking civil injunctions to limit gang business and offer rewards for information leading to arrests and convictions.
Five years ago, when Compton leaders asked Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to take over policing their city, sheriff’s officials said 100 patrol deputies at a cost of about $16 million would be needed.
Instead, city officials contracted for 70 deputies at a $12-million price tag to replace 113 Compton officers, detectives and supervisors.