Now we know from witnesses that it wasn't a drive-by, but its inverse -- "gunmen" on foot shooting at a moving car. And killing a four-year-old boy. There's a lot of distress in the neighborhood, including from people who didn't know Roberto Lopez or his family. Many posts on the neighborhood list serve. It will be discussed at the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce meeting tonight.
Roberto Lopez. Somehow it sounds like such a grown-up name for a little kid. He is the fourth child to be shot and killed in suspected gang shootings in the last two years in Echo Park or its close environs.
It may be related, or not, but currently there are two gangs fighting over wall space in Echo Park, as I've mentioned recently. And a shooting has been expected as the gang members have crossed into each other's "territories" crossing out tags, re-tagging. One friend of mine, Malcolm, posted an argument/theory. He says the gangs are fighting to control the street vendors, who pay "protection" money. He says it's money, not scenery they're after. For weeks, Malcolm and other neighborhood watchers have been warning that a shooting was going to occur.
Meanwhile, I have heard the Roberto's mother, pregnant (if the baby hasn't been delivered yet) and distraught, is in the hospital. She went into labor after her little boy's killing.
A candlelight vigil is planned for tonight on Court Street: 7pm, Court Street Between Boylston and Toluca. Donations for the family will hopefully be co-ordinated through ArtsCorp LA, the local non profit, at "Spiraling Orchard".