Two suspected gang members have been charged with fatally shooting a 5-year-old boy in a South Los Angeles backyard, where he was playing in his Spider-Man costume on Halloween.
Leonard Hall Jr., 21, and Marcus Denson, 18, alleged members of the Kitchen Crips gang, each face one count of murder for the killing of Aaron Shannon Jr. and two counts of willful attempted murder for shooting his uncle and grandfather.
Hall is believed to be the gunman, according to court documents.
Prosecutors allege the shooting was to benefit a “criminal street gang.” Both suspects have been held on $1-million bail since their arrests Thursday and Friday by Los Angeles police.
Deputy Police Chief Pat Gannon said the suspects crossed into a rival gang’s territory looking for someone — anyone — to shoot as payback for a shooting earlier this year.
“They were not targeting any one individual,” Gannon said. “These are violent people with no sense of how their violence affects other people, including a young, innocent boy.”
Gannon said tips from the community, including gang members, led to the arrests.
Hall is on parole after being convicted of possession of a controlled substance, officials said. Jail records show he also was arrested Oct. 15 on suspicion of robbery. As part of the conditions of his parole, he is forbidden from associating with the Kitchen Crips, according to a law enforcement source.
Aaron was playing in his new Spider-Man costume when the gunman opened fire, striking him in the head. His uncle was hit in the leg and his grandfather on the wrist.