The killing of Daniel Silva in South Los Angeles

By Alex A. Alonso
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer
April 3, 2012 | 8:35 a.m. PST

It’s been over a year since Daniel “Monster” Silva, 18, was gunned down on the corner of Alsace Ave and Roseland, but his memorial still stands. While sitting in a car, an assailant walked up and shot Silva on the morning of March 12, 2011.

Rumors on the street suggested that Silva was killed in a gang-related shooting by a Blood member who was looking to kill a member of 18th Street, a gang that has been in the West-Adams community where Silva lived.

Many people who knew Silva personally are saying that he was not a gang member and were quick to dismiss these accusations. Comments posted on the Los Angeles Times’ homicide blog expressed this sentiment.

This is reminiscent of the 2008 murder of teenager Jamiel Shaw Jr., who was allegedly killed by 18th Street gang member Pedro Espinoza. His father attempted to dismiss any accusations that his son was killed in a gang conflict, but all indications suggested that Shaw Jr. was innocently claiming the neighborhood gang.

The father accused then LA Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee for playing politics when she did not characterize the killing as a racially motivated hate crime. When she planned on prosecuting Espinoza for committing a gang related murder, the father was livid.

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Hanisse was removed from the case by District Attorney Steve Cooley, but prosecutors during the preliminary hearing presented evidence that supported Hanisee’s initial suppositions, but Shaw Jr.’s family continued to deny any gang ties that the teen had.

Shaw Jr. was a standout football player at Los Angeles High School, and did not have a criminal record, so it was difficult for many to believe a teenager that had such a positive future would be involved with gangs. Shaw Jr. was not a criminal nor a gun toting lunatic fixated with inflicting violence against his rivals. That was not his character and most gang members are not “putting in work,” trying to establish a reputation, or standing on the street corner selling narcotics.

There are thousands of teens that claim their neighborhood that do not go down the path of violence. Last year, alleged gang member Giovani Ramirez, 31, was falsely accused of beating Bryan Stow into a coma, despite not have a violent history. The media was quick to blame him because he was a gang member and resembled the composite drawing.

This fundamental misunderstanding of gang members can cause people to use extreme prejudice which led to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to state that Ramirez was “their man” when in fact he had nothing to do with the vicious assault.

According to the LAPD there are 45,000 gang members city wide, and last year 4,694 of the 19,805 violent crimes were committed by gang members. If each crime was committed by a unique individual, then 10.4 percent of the gang member population was responsible for committing a violent crime last year.

If we correctly assume that many of the crimes were committed by repeat offenders, then the proportion of violent gang members is even smaller. What you are left is over 90 percent of City’s gang members not committing violent crimes and this has been the trend for years.

These statistics challenge most people’s notions about gangs and crime, as the crime data reveals that gang members are responsible for less than 20 percent of violent crime in the city and that those crimes are committed by less than 10 percent of the gang member population.

All indications support that Silva was an ambitious and amiable teenager with a huge circle of friends, but he was still compelled to take on the gang identity of his local neighborhood. Most of his friends were not gang members and many of them may not have even been aware of his affiliation with 18th Street. Silva and Shaw Jr. alike represent those thousands of teens who experiment with a gang identity early on, as most will learn from their experiences and eventually mature out of that identity in their mid to late 20s. For the very few, dabbling with a gang will lead to their death.

Unfortunately, Silva paid the ultimate price, and even though these murders are rare and have been on the decline for several years, it is always prudent to discourage any teen from experimenting with gangs. The rival gang member who harbors hate for other gang members makes no distinction between the passive non-violent gang member and the hardcore predator gang member.

When teens as promising as Silva are killed, the shootings are often characterized as senseless random acts of violence, but I am certain that he was targeted as an 18th Street gang member while in the neighborhood of 18th Street when he was killed.

Espinoza is scheduled to go on trial for the 2008 murder of Shaw Jr. next month in downtown Los Angeles.

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Alex Alonso is an author, film maker, founder of Streetgangs.com, and a criminal trial consultant who has worked on approximately 300 cases. He is also a contributing author in the 2010 book entitled Black Los Angeles: American Dreams Racial Realities (New York University Press). He can be reached via email, toll free at 800-249-1324 or on Twitter.

Posted by on Apr 3 2012. Filed under Features, People of CA v. Pedro Espinoza. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

36 Comments for “The killing of Daniel Silva in South Los Angeles”

  1. Bully

    Danny was just a wanna be, I think.

    • Pee low

      Danny wasn’t a wanna be and he wasn’t gang affiliated. He was just a cool dude who every summer would come to where the street Roseland ends where we would spend all summer riding bikes, skateboards, and scooters. Danny being older than I am before his pblanking I could honestly say that some of us “kids” that hang out here on Roseland looked up to him. He was just fun and entertaining. We loved having him around because he had the highest bunny hop on his bike than anyone. And he would always leave us in awe when he would do a willie for three blocks straight. Pretty innocent for a person who happens to be gang “affiliated”. And I could also proudly say that none of us are gang affiliated

    • Danny's friend

      He wasn’t, and your “I think” at the end, clearly defines the smartity of your comment.
      He was a very good hearted kid, with nothing but love for anyone he met.
      Since you just “think” I’ll inform you with facts so you KNOW.

      Danny wasn’t a wannabe… he was a friend, brother, son, and uncle.
      Pay some respect.

  2. stef

    This was an absolutely wonderful article, Mr. Alonso. Great job exposing the truth and informing us of these types of ‘gang bangers”. I experience this in my own surroundings, where the young boys-pre-teens-teens follow the trend in their neighborhood they grow up in. They become familiar with the homies and the O.G.’s on their streets and it looks appealing to them. So, they start claiming the “hood” or the “set”. As they grow up they move into sports and loose the interest in the neighborhood gang. I am fortunate, to say that my family members have never been shot or ked despite the intrigue of the gang life.

    • Manjeet

      Before you go out on the internet and make yourself look like a prejudice person, learn to think before you speak/type on someone you didn’t know. If you are not a first source in the person’s life, what gives you the right to categorize and label him as a follower. Daniel was not a member of a gang, so for you to say such a thing gives others the chance to spread rumors and false ideas on what occured. Daniel was MY BEST FRIEND, so please think on how this would have affected him if you labelized him as a non-productive citizen of the city of Los Angeles. He was going to get far in life, but some peanut heads do stuff because they have no value in the life of others as well as their own.

  3. SOUTH CENTRAL REZIDENT

    With a nickname like Monster I doubt he wasn’t a gang member or at least a wannabe. If you’re not from a gang dont act like one ITS NOT A GAME you can get ked, Jamiel Shaw Jr. learned that the hard way. Gangbangin is not for everybody!

    • Danny's friend

      Your remark is based on your lack of knowledge.
      Monster was not a “street” nickname… it was a family nickname.
      He never got involved with the gang life.
      Please get informed before commenting on an article when it pertains to a lost loved one.

  4. sanjose

    who iz he justin beiber or something?

    • Danny's friend

      This isn’t funny at all. Pay some respect. He was one of my close friends, and was popular for his kindness.

  5. Katie

    Danny wasnt a gang memeber, Danny was an ultimate sweet guy who simply liked riding fixies and spending time with his friends going to parties. I know this beacuse I am a friend of Daniel, daniel “monstah” was like a bro to me and a couple of others. Danny never liked the whole gang related things he thought it was dumb k-ingg for hatred……But things went wrong and they had mistaken him as a gang memeber..R.I.P Daniel Silva Your Memory will Always Live On.

  6. Long money$$$$$$$

    Man all full of it,always blame bad ish on black people.

  7. Long money$$$$$$$

    yall full of ish aways blaming the black youth, we dont know how this boy was ked, and you dont either!

    • Danny's friend

      They didnt state in the article anywhere that it was a black shooter.
      Even though I was there when it happened, and the driver of the vehicle was black.
      So, I DO know…
      You’re making your statements through racial profiling, and defending blacks, and i can respect that, but we have to admit the obvious in which, it was a black man….

  8. Yg.MuttFace2.3

    Anotha dead faketeenk !! fwets on duvs Ns NHB R20’S 18K 30K CK

  9. Yg.MuttFace2.3

    C18K WEST/ADAMS R.20’S NHBL27DS!! RICKET187REMOVA!FAKETEENkZ

  10. david silva

    Well I’m the brother of daniel silva, its been about a year that my brother was murdered, sucks that this is the life we live it could of been anybody, may god forgive the person that did this, because I know i did. Everybody talking down on my lil bro go ahead god and his friends knew who he really was all other side opinons don’t matter it won’t bring him back. I must say he is missed I’m glad I got a baby boy that has the same personality of danny that makes stuff easier. Lets all keep it positive for one self and slowly stuff can be changed atleast in your world. And stay close to you your familys and god because thats all you have at the end. BTW his nickname was monsta because when he was lil he had a deep voice so my big brother named him that its a family name. Like always people are entitled to ther own on opinons, those opinons are silent and invisible to his true friends and family. We love you Danny “monsta” silva <3 same moms n the rest of the family a spot up there, will be there soon.

    • CBG 21st

      Ay guy just admit it already your brother was a claimer thats why he got shot. And you also used to be from thiskrew your nickname was Names. Let it be foo. Accept it

  11. Katie

    This article is soo damn retarted and ignorant. Only because a person may look or dress a certain way or even live in a neighborhood doesnt mean that they are from a gang. People are so quick to judge with out knowing. This boy was not a gang member. People that knew him and his family know the truth and that is all that matters. Articles like this are just full of b.s.

  12. Cityboy

    Yeah most of you guys are correct. He wasn’t a fake teen .. He was a wannabe fake teen and that’s real. A few people brought it to my attention that they’ve heard him disrespect other neighborhoods and would blurt out fake teen every now and than. And it’s funny how you so called friends who knew don’t know this about him. f it, you want to claim your fair game..cc’s up.. Fakes down

  13. Cityboy

    Come on now!! He claimed fake teen and if you truely know him you would know that. Yeah he wasn’t a fake teen but he claimed it and disrespected other hoods like he was with it. You claim then your fair game. And you guys know he did. He had family from fake teen so of course he was a claimer. CC’s up fakes down

    • CBG 21st

      Truth, what you said is in fact true. All you fake friends and family members who say he wasnt gang affiliated or what not are just in denyial. Monsta was from a tagging crew called ThisKrew where the main head to that was Dayums who hopped into faketeen and is called ker or Kay. Also that snitch blank foo Nano was from thiskrew. All these thiskrew members at the time where ranking it to there tagging enemys and would claim to be 18st members. I speak from my personal incounter with monsta, i pulled up on him once to confront him about the beef my crew had with his krew and he claimed 18st just like Nano. Just claimers who never got ther actual put ons. So i wasnt surprised he was shot up by a blood since im so sure 9/10 he claimed 18st to that person who shot him. He got to confident claiming 18 that he blankumed to every person he was claiming it to nothing will happen, until something did Happen. And if you dont accept it then f it keep living in denyial.

  14. michelle

    This article is so wrong!!! Jamiel Shaw had a MySpace account where he was clearly stating he was a Blood gang member (among other evidence), Daniel Silva did not. Comparing the two cases is completely ridiculous. Let me clarify something, I don’t believe being or not being a gang member justifies being murdered. That’s not what I’m saying, I just think it makes the cases different. From my understanding what this article is saying is that because you live in a neightborhood where there are gangs or because you may know people who are part of gang, that makes you a gangmember. Does it? I don’t think so, I know some people who are gangmember (in LA who doesn’t?) and talk to them because they are humans (just like you and I) not because they are gang members. I don’t believe being able to look pblank their gang afiliation makes me a gang member. If it does, than talking to my rocker friends makes a rocker too, right!?!? Knowing Daniel Silva and being familiar with the neighborhood where he lived I can tell you HE WAS NOT A GANG MEMBER. He talk to lots of people, he was simply a really friendly guy who loved his family and friends. He loved to party,and ride his bike, that’s it. Let him rest in peace!

  15. michelle

    This article is so wrong. Jamiel Shaw had a MySpace account where he was clearly stating he was a Blood gang member (among other evidence), Daniel Silva did not. Comparing the two cases is completely ridiculous. Let me clarify something, I don’t believe being or not being a gang member justifies being murdered. That’s not what I’m saying, I just think it makes the cases different. From my understanding what this article is saying is that because you live in a neightborhood where there are gangs or because you may know people who are part of gang, that makes you a gangmember. Does it? I don’t think so, I know some people who are gangmember (in LA who doesn’t?) and talk to them because they are humans (just like you and I) not because they are gang members. I don’t believe being able to look pblank their gang afiliation makes me a gang member. If it does, than talking to my rocker friends makes a rocker too, right!?!? Knowing Daniel Silva and being familiar with the neighborhood where he lived I can tell you HE WAS NOT A GANG MEMBER. He talk to lots of people, he was simply a really friendly guy who loved his family and friends. He loved to party,and ride his bike, that’s it. Let him rest in peace!

  16. chinoo

    yall sum daawwmmm idiots !!!
    get your storry straight u fing smart idiots !

    yall sum full of ish !!

  17. Find his killer n stop ur bs

    why cant u just stop ur bs n say the truth everyone knows.his not gang.related plus he was.one of the amzing friends everyone could ask for his thing wasnt gangs his thing was.having fun n making his friends.smile.n lookout for.why cnt u just look for all them kers n put them in jail.or.just k them so their family could feel the same pain we feel.instead of saying all ur bs take care of buisness n find them thanks well appriciate that.

  18. SISTER OF DANNY SILVA

    I’m the sister of the brother of mine that did no harm to none ..he Was even scared to fight all the time now someone that loves there gang dose not go around making friends or even bother to get to know anyone there out to make enemy’s.. So like most of y’all know my brother was a GREAT kid with this said I would love to tell this publisher that he really needs to get his facts straight .. If you want a interview to see how great my brother was I can arrange that ASAP but please don’t bad mouth my brother like this .. I would understand if he looked like a dam dead beat or even dress like one but come on a kid that was some into his self and partied so hard .. Wow my brother even talked to homeless people and as my brother said previously .. My brother did apparently get this name from my older brother.. And he did have such a deep voice .. I mean I even have a nick name dose that make me a dam 18 st gang member wow yall really out did your self this time but then again yall find the smallest things to get a kick out of …i Have a profession and am well educated and being around my brother I could honestly say that his love spread so far he had people come from far to be with him on his last day on this earth .. But again the media will always say what is convenient to them .. So don’t ever believe all you hear get your fact straight …rip lil brother you know and we know that you were a great kid … And for those who think like wise you really don’t know someone till you `have experienced who they really were.. p.s I do believe that this person really did not know what they were talking about on this article..

  19. Michelle

    To Alexalonso,
    You keep asking what does EIP mean, you know what it means! The problem is that you’re implying that just because someone wrote that it means Danny was a gang member. Nor he or his family have control over what people decide to write on the floor. I do agree that the person who wrote that is probably a gang member, but because some smart person wrote that it does not mean Daniel Sylva was a gang member. As i said before Danny talk to everyone, he was a friendly guy who talk to all kinds of people just because they were people nothing else. Just look at his pictures, he’s clearly not a gang member.

  20. black texas

    Mexian k, death to all racist wets

    • Danny's Friend

      and this statement makes you so much better?
      Danny never would’ve wished death upon anyone.
      That alone states that he was a better person than you are

  21. HARLEM30

    Correct me if I’m wrong I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT THE 18ST AND BPS BEEF WAS OVER A BPS (CITY) JACKED A 18 FOR A LOWRIDER BACK IN 96 NEAR ADAMS AND EDGEHILL AND NOT OVER RACE

  22. The Truth

    Eighteen In Peace EIP

  23. rb

    Taco ker one less taco

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