Baby killed in apparent gang shooting

June 6, 2012 at 1:21 AM

LOS ANGELES, June 6 (UPI) -- A shooting that killed a 1-year-old boy as his father held him on a Los Angeles street appeared to be gang-related, police said Tuesday.

Relatives said they had urged Mauro Cortez, 21, to take off a purple T-shirt just before the shooting Monday evening, the Los Angeles Times reported. Purple is the color of Barrio Grape Street, a Hispanic gang that has been involved in fighting with a black gang, Fudgetown.

Witnesses said the shooter was a young black man on a bicycle wearing a hoodie. He fired one shot that mortally wounded Angel Mauro Cortez-Nava and then struck his father.

"Gang violence touches everybody," city police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday. "People have to understand that even though gangs may target each other, victims cross a wide, broad swath."

The city announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, which a local corporation, AEG, increased to $100,000.

Friends say Cortez, who came to Los Angeles about three years ago from Jalisco in Mexico and married soon after, was innocent about some of the dangers of life in Los Angeles. A friend had given him the T-shirt, with the message: "I own a Honda. Be nice to me."

"He was always here playing with the baby," Maria Trujillo, a member of Cortez's extended family, told the Times. "The baby was his life."

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