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Teen fatally shot in Artesia

The 17-year-old male is found collapsed next to his bicycle on Pioneer Boulevard near the 91 Freeway.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 21, 2008
College student Mitchell Saint-Jones lit a candle this morning at a makeshift memorial in Artesia, where a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies found the teenager collapsed next to his bicycle about 12:10 a.m. on Pioneer Boulevard near the 91 Freeway, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Derrick Thompson.

The youth, who has not yet been identified by authorities, died at a hospital.

Saint-Jones, 21, of Cerritos, who called himself a friend of the victim, said the teenager attended a nearby high school and played ice hockey.

“He was just a funny, fun-loving guy, a great outgoing personality,” said Saint-Jones, a student at Cerritos College.

Saint-Jones said the teen, who sported a crew cut and a tan, had never been involved in a gang, although he may have been mistaken for a Latino gang member by members of several gangs active in the area.

Saint-Jones said he avoids certain parts of town because of crime and gang activity, but he considered the area where the shooting occurred to be safe, even at night.

“There’s always been people trying to beef with other people,” he said. “The whole macho thing has always been around. But apparently, it’s getting worse.”

No suspect description was available, and it was unclear whether the shooting was gang-related, Thompson said. Anyone with information is asked to contact homicide investigators at (323) 890-5500.

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