Los Angeles News

$100K reward offered for Watts baby killer

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A $100,000 reward has been offered in the fatal shooting of a 1-year-old baby in Watts on Monday night.

Mauro Cortez, 24, was outside of his house in the 10500 block of Hickory Street shortly before 8 p.m. holding his son Angel when a teenager wearing a hoodie rode up on a bicycle. Witnesses said the suspect said something, pulled out a gun and opened fire.

"All of sudden, I heard like firecrackers, popping noises, that's what I thought it was, but all of a sudden I heard everybody screaming," said Cortez's brother, Albert Cervantes.

Cortez had his baby on his shoulder when one of the bullets struck Angel in the torso, then lodged itself into Cortez's shoulder. Both were rushed to the hospital, but doctors couldn't save Angel.

"I don't understand why this happened," said Cortez in Spanish at a news conference, breaking down in tears.

There were several witnesses, but nobody appears to have recognized the suspect. He was described as a 15- to 17-year-old African-American boy.

Police are following up on all leads, including one that indicated the suspect ran into an abandoned house at the end of the block after the shooting.

"Because of the background of this neighborhood, we're obviously going to be looking very hard, being a gang issue, there's a Latino gang and an African-American gang in this neighborhood that went through some real battle last year," said LAPD Captain Phillip Tingirides.

Cervantes said his brother wasn't involved in gangs, but was simply wearing the wrong color at the wrong time.

"Angel Cortez was not a gang member, he was a 1-year-old child," said Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Buscaino. "He should not be subject to this violent act and we as a community will not put up with it."

Police are asking for the public's help. Anyone with information on the suspect or the incident is asked to call 1-877-LAPD-247.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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