A man described as a Latino gang member has been charged with shooting four 15-year-old Black boys, two of them fatally, in an unprovoked attack last month in South Los Angeles. Police believe that the murders may have been racially motivated, since none of the four boys shot - are affiliated with gangs or other illegal activities.
19 year old Cristian Ivan Macias is accused of opening fire on the teens early on May 13, which was Mother's Day.
La'marrion Upchurch and Monyae Jackson were walking with two other friends when they were shot and killed. Los Angeles Police Capt. Peter Whittingham explained that the boys were "senselessly, for no reason that we can determine at this point in our investigation."
"I cannot tell you how saddened I was, not just as a police officer but as a parent, getting a call on Mother's Day: Four 15-year-olds, walking down the street, shot," Whittingham said.
According to reports, the boys had driven up from Long Beach to attend a party. Just after they left the gathering, they were approached by two men who asked them where they were from then opened fire, she said.
Upchurch was pronounced dead at the scene, while Jackson died two days later at the hospital. The other two were hospitalized but later released, police said.
Jackson and Upchurch were lifelong friends.
Prosecutors allege that Macias is a gang member and, along with two counts each of murder and attempted murder, he faces a sentencing enhancement for allegedly committing the act on behalf of the gang.