3-Year-Old Girl Killed In Baldwin Hills Shooting

3-Year-Old Girl Killed In Baldwin Hills Shooting

KNBC-TV 1:12 p.m. PDT September 25, 2006

BALDWIN HILLS, Calif. – Police searched Monday for a gunman who killed a 3-year-old girl and critically wounded her father in an apparently gang-related shooting in Baldwin Hills.

The shooting occurred at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday in front of the victims’ home in the 4500 block of Pinafore Street, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez.

Kaitlyn Avila died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Cheryl MacWillie of the coroner’s office. Her 24-year-old father, identified by the Los Angeles Times as Cesar Avila — was taken to UCLA Medical Center in critical condition, police said.

There were no arrests, said LAPD Officer Marjan Mobasser.

Avila was helping his two daughters get out of the family’s parked car when two men in a gray Nissan Quest minivan pulled up, The Times reported.

One of the men got out and fired multiple shots into the car, striking the child and her father, Lopez said.

LAPD Deputy Chief Charles Beck, who oversees the LAPD’s South Bureau, told The Times that two assailants identified themselves as gang members before the shooting.

They apparently believed the girl’s father belonged to a rival gang, Beck said, but police have no evidence that he was a gang member, The Times reported.

The girl’s 14-year-old cousin, Jesus Rodriguez, told The Times: “What did they shoot her for? She’s a little girl. She didn’t do anything wrong. They thought my uncle was from (the) 18th Street gang. But he wasn’t. He doesn’t bang.”

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