South L.A.'s weekend spike in violence eased Tuesday as police continued their efforts to calm concerns spread via social media that a series of recent shootings was tied to increasing gang activity.
Deputy Chief Bill Scott said the LAPD’s 77th Street Division -- the epicenter of this weekend’s violence -- had not seen a gang-related shooting since Saturday night. Scott said detectives were still searching for the gunmen in earlier attacks, but said investigators had not found any proof they were linked to rumored threats of 100 days of violence.
“Things have calmed down,” Scott said. “It kind of validates what we’ve been saying that we can’t validate this thing as being true.”
The warnings of increased gang violence intensified across social media sites this weekend after more than a half-dozen shootings in South L.A. left one man dead and 12 people wounded.
One of the most incendiary claims to emerge was that a gang had vowed 100 days of violence after a 27-year-old man was gunned down earlier this month, sparking alarming hashtags like #100days100nights and #PrayforLA on Twitter and Instagram.
The LAPD responded by deploying more officers to deter retaliatory attacks and calling upon local clergy and gang outreach workers for help.
Scott said two shootings had been reported in the LAPD’s 77th Street Division since Saturday, but neither were considered gang-related. A man was shot in an apparent road rage incident shortly after midnight Monday at Florence and Normandie avenues, he said. Another man was wounded about 11:50 p.m. near 60th Street and Budlong Avenue.
Scott said the department still had extra officers in the area, but fewer were deployed than this weekend. He said LAPD officials would also continue to try and reassure residents that the rash of shootings, while tragic for the victims involved, was not that unusual for the area.
The deputy chief said he believed the response to the weekend’s violence was fueled primarily by the social media speculation.
“The fear, it’s still out there. It takes a while to dial this stuff back,” he said. “That thing took on a life of its own.”
Times staff writers Nicole Santa Cruz and Javier Panzar contributed to this report.
Follow @katemather for more LAPD news.