Manhunt Continues For Teen’s Killers

Manhunt Continues For Teen’s Killers

Boy Shot To Death In Alley

POSTED: 4:20 pm PDT October 12, 2004
UPDATED: 6:30 pm PDT October 12, 2004

LOS ANGELES — Police issued a message Tuesday to the attackers behind the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy.

“This is the case, not a case, the case,” said Sgt. Kenneth Garner. “We will solve it sooner, rather than later. To the individuals responsible, ‘We’re coming at you.’ I term them as cowards.”

Garner said about 12 detectives are working the case. He said police have received many leads in the shooting of Byron Lee.

The South Los Angeles boy was gunned down during the weekend while riding his bike in an alley, police said. Authorities said the shooting occurred around 2 p.m.

That’s when two assailants in a passing car fired several shots. Witnesses told police the men stopped the car, got out and shot Lee several more times as the boy pleaded for his life on his hands and knees.

“It wasn’t enough that his assailants took his life, but these vicious thugs, who are absolutely devoid of all humanity, made him beg for this precious thing that we call life,” Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger said at a news conference outside the Police Department’s 77th Street Station.

Police told NBC 4 the boy was shot 19 times. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officers are carrying crime alert posters with Lee’s picture and information about the shooting.

Paysinger, commander of the Police Department’s South Bureau, said Byron’s killing was part of a far greater problem in the 58-square-mile area of about 640,000 people.

“Even though this is a very tragic loss, it represents just one life of the 193 that we have seen die in the streets of South Bureau this year. Particularly brutal is the fact that over 970 people have been shot this year,” he said.

Residents in Lee’s South Los Angeles neighborhood are distributing information about the case and urging others to attend the boy’s funeral. Neighbors told NBC 4 they plan to attend the funeral to demonstrate solidarity.

Lee’s mother said the boy spent most of the day Saturday helping to clean the house before taking the bike ride. Keva Byum said her other son died last year of a rare form of cancer.

“They just shattered my dreams and my hopes,” Byum said. “I just wanted to see my baby graduate from high school.”

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday. Family members said Byron wanted to be an entertainer.

Police said they have not determined a motive for the attack.

Friends and family members participated in a prayer service Monday in South Los Angeles. More than 200 people walked from his house to the site of the shooting. Candles, flowers and other items were left in the alley.

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