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9 charged in 6 gang-related killings in South Los Angeles

February 5, 2022 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nine alleged gang members have been charged with killing six people in a series of retaliatory attacks that terrorized a section of South Los Angeles the past several months. authorities said.

The men, identified in court documents as members of the Kitchen Crips, were charged with murder and attempted murder in connection to a series of violent crimes that plagued the Florence-Firestone and Watts neighborhoods, among other areas the gang claims as its territory.

Police told The Los Angeles Times the victims were people whom the defendants believed to be members of a rival gang. One was a 61-year-old bystander killed when the men opened fire at a rival on a scooter, and another was killed when they opened fire into a crowd of people at the Nickerson Gardens public housing development.

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“It’s the gang life, and part of what they try to do is spread fear and influence,” said Capt. Adrian Gonzalez, commander of the LAPD South Bureau’s Homicide Division.

Police arrested seven of the men this week in a series of raids carried out by multiple agencies. Two remain at large.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said those who appeared in court as of Friday pleaded not guilty to the charges. Attorneys who had been assigned to represent them either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment, the Times reported.