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L.A. police union offers $20,000 reward for information in fatal Wilmington shooting

A group of people holding lighted candles
Elected officials and Wilmington residents attend a candlelight vigil Tuesday for three people who were shot near Wilmington Park Elementary School the day before. A 12-year-old boy was killed in the shooting, and a woman and 9-year-old girl were injured.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles police officers union is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy and wounding of two other people in Wilmington on Monday.

Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, expressed outrage in a statement Wednesday.

“This is more than a cold-blooded murder of a child and the shooting of his mother and an innocent young girl playing at an elementary school,” Lally said. “This is an attack on the sense of safety of all Angelenos; it rips at the very fabric of our society.”

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The shooting occurred late Monday afternoon at North Blinn Avenue and East Denni Street, in front of Wilmington Park Elementary School.

Coroner’s officials on Tuesday identified the boy as Alexander Alvarado.

His stepmother, in her 30s, was injured in the shooting, as was a 9-year-old girl at the nearby school, police said.

A 12-year-old boy was killed Monday in a shooting that injured his stepmother and a 9-year-old girl playing at a nearby school.

Lally also urged L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón to hold any suspects arrested in the case without bail and to prosecute the case “using every enhancement legally allowed.”

“Alexander’s murder should not be a time for social justice experiments,” he said.

Tom Saggau, a spokesman for the police union, said members approved funding for the reward Wednesday.

“What really moved the league to offer this reward was a sense of frustration,” he said.

After seeing waves of smash-and-grab and follow-home robberies, among other crimes, officers have felt increasingly discouraged by what they perceive as a lack of action by city leadership and the district attorney’s office, he said.

“We just had this feeling that we needed to do something,” Saggau said. “This one really struck a chord with us.”

A string of incidents at private homes and public spaces has catapulted crime in Los Angeles back into the zeitgeist.

Alexander was in a car with his stepmother and 10-year-old brother when multiple shooters opened fire, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. The younger brother was in a rear seat and was not struck.

The 9-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet while on a playground during an after-school program at Wilmington Park Elementary School, officials said.

Moore called the shooting tragic and said it was part of a broader increase in gun violence in the last two years — and particularly since last month.

The chief said “easily dozens” of bullet casings from at least two different-caliber firearms were recovered from the scene in Wilmington, indicating multiple shooters opened fire and a level of intent on their part to cause substantial harm.

He also said one of the guns “was a very powerful one by the nature of the casings we’ve recovered,” but he declined to specify the type of weapon.

Moore said Alexander’s stepmother was shot in the stomach, and he believed Alexander was shot in the head. Preliminary information suggests the girl was shot in the back.

No suspects had been named as of Wednesday night, and further information about the investigation was not available.


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