Family Makes Anti-Violence Plea

Aunts of the Locke High student shot last week call for an end to gang attacks. They also offer forgiveness to the alleged gunman.

By Lisa Richardson
Times Staff Writer

March 23, 2005

The family of 15-year-old Deliesh Allen, who was shot as she left Locke High School last week, pleaded Tuesday for an end to gang violence, requested prayers for her recovery and offered forgiveness to the alleged gunman.

“We have got to stop the violence … for all the children who’ve been shot,” said Candacy Roberts, one of Deliesh’s four aunts who held a news conference outside Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where Deliesh remains on life support. The streets, Roberts said, belong to everyone, not only to gang members.

Members of her family and community activists are planning a protest against gang violence Thursday at noon, at the site of the shooting.

“Deliesh is a bright young lady. She was not in the wrong place at the wrong time; she was at school, coming out of school,” Roberts said. “Her aunt was not late picking her up. She was there, parked just behind a school bus.”

That aunt, Nina Roberts, wept silently as her sister spoke. It was she who ran from her car to cradle Deliesh after her niece was shot in the head.

The two aunts share custody of the girl, who is like a daughter to them, Candacy Roberts said.

Although Deliesh suffered severe brain damage and has remained unconscious, the sisters have not given up hope.

“On the medical side, it looks grave. On the miracle side, it looks great,” Roberts said. “She’s still here. She’s holding her own.”

While pacing the halls of the hospital during the long vigil, Roberts said, she has overheard the talk of gang members who seem to shrug off the routine violence that sends them there.

“In this hospital, this is commonplace,” she said, referring to shootings. The talk is “so cavalier, so casual. This is life! This is life we’re talking about.”

While praying for Deliesh, however, Roberts said she was also praying for the girl’s alleged blankailant, Dejuan Hines. The 18-year-old, believed to be a member of the Front Street Crips gang, was arrested Friday after an outpouring of tips from residents. Investigators said Hines was shooting at members of the rival Back Street Crips.

“I forgive you, because you don’t understand what you’ve done,” Roberts said. “I pray your eyes become open to the fact that life is not a game.”

By Lisa RichardsonTimes Staff WriterMarch 23, 2005The family of 15-year-old Deliesh Allen, who was shot as she left Locke High School last week, pleaded Tuesday for an end to gang violence, requested prayers for her recovery and offered forgiveness to the alleged gunman.”We have got to stop the violence … for all the children who’ve been shot,” said Candacy Roberts, one of Deliesh’s four aunts who held a news conference outside Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where Deliesh remains on life support. The streets, Roberts said, belong to everyone, not only to gang members.Members of her family and community activists are planning a protest against gang violence Thursday at noon, at the site of the shooting.”Deliesh is a bright young lady. She was not in the wrong place at the wrong time; she was at school, coming out of school,” Roberts said. “Her aunt was not late picking her up. She was there, parked just behind a school bus.”That aunt, Nina Roberts, wept silently as her sister spoke. It was she who ran from her car to cradle Deliesh after her niece was shot in the head.The two aunts share custody of the girl, who is like a daughter to them, Candacy Roberts said.Although Deliesh suffered severe brain damage and has remained unconscious, the sisters have not given up hope.”On the medical side, it looks grave. On the miracle side, it looks great,” Roberts said. “She’s still here. She’s holding her own.”While pacing the halls of the hospital during the long vigil, Roberts said, she has overheard the talk of gang members who seem to shrug off the routine violence that sends them there.”In this hospital, this is commonplace,” she said, referring to shootings. The talk is “so cavalier, so casual. This is life! This is life we’re talking about.”While praying for Deliesh, however, Roberts said she was also praying for the girl’s alleged blankailant, Dejuan Hines. The 18-year-old, believed to be a member of the Front Street Crips gang, was arrested Friday after an outpouring of tips from residents. Investigators said Hines was shooting at members of the rival Back Street Crips.”I forgive you, because you don’t understand what you’ve done,” Roberts said. “I pray your eyes become open to the fact that life is not a game.”

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