An 18-year-old man died Wednesday afternoon after being shot in an alley in Boyle Heights.

Police say the victim –identified so far only as a Latino male– was found shortly after 12 pm suffering from gunshot wounds, in the alley between First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, near State Street. Police say nearby residents came to the victim’s aid before authorities arrived, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

KTLA reported that detectives investigating the scene closed off traffic on State Street for several hours and that area residents gathered at the corner of First and State, to observe.

KABC reported that the victim’s grandparents said the young man was a client at Homeboy Industries, a program that works with former gang members. The organization operates a charter school at a location near the shooting, on First Street.

Police have not said if the incident was gang related.

Wednesday’s shooting is the second homicide investigated this month by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Division. An Aug. 1 shooting in El Sereno left another male victim dead.

In an email received by Boyle Heights Beat Wednesday evening, Captain Al Labrada, the commander officer at the Hollenbeck Division, expressed concern about rising violence in the area in the last 45 days. Labrada said Wednesday’s was the 13th shooting investigated by Hollenbeck since July 1.

The captain said he urges area residents to cooperate with police investigations and encouraged “communication with us in addressing community violence.”

About The Author

Antonio Mejías-Rentas

Antonio Mejías-Rentas is a Senior Editor at Boyle Heights Beat, a community newspaper where he mentors teenage journalists. He also manages the organization’s website and covers local issues. He is a veteran bilingual journalist who worked over 25 years at La Opinión, the Los Angeles Spanish-language daily, covering arts and entertainment. As an independent journalist he has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Variety, El nuevo día, El país and countless other pubications. He is a longtime member and former board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; he is the past president of the organization’s Los Angeles chapter. A native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Antonio lives in the eastside neighborhood of Boyle Heights. He tweets @lataino.

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