The first two homicide victims of 2021 in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles are male teens shot in seemingly unrelated incidents within a three-day period being investigated by authorities.
A 15-year old boy was shot to death Saturday afternoon at Prospect Park. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the shooting was reported around 3:20 pm in the 600 block of Echandia Street.
An LAPD spokesperson said the victim was standing at the park when four suspects approached in an unknown vehicle. One suspect, described as a Hispanic male between 20-25, exited the vehicle and opened fire while the other three suspects, including a female between the ages of 20-25, remained in the vehicle.
The victim was declared dead on the scene by paramedics. He was later identified by the coroner as Ever Cutzan of Los Angeles. (A Go Fund Me Page organized by a family member identifies the victim as a 14-year-old boy.)
Two other suspects are believed to be Hispanic males, no age given. There was no description of the vehicle nor a motive for the shooting given.
On Monday morning, a 19-year-old man was shot multiple times and killed in East Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
According to a report released by LASD, the victim was found in a car with multiple gunshot wounds by California Highway Patrol officers who were responding to a call of a traffic collision at approximately 2:57 a.m. on the 1200 Block of South Hicks Ave. The location is a few blocks East of the Boyle Heights border at Olympic and Indiana.
The victim was declared dead on the scene. He was later identified as Juan Pelayo.
UPDATE: Another homicide in an industrial area on the Southern edge of Boyle Heights was reported on the morning of Dec. 31. The body of a 40-year-old homeless man was found decomposing at 2870 East Lugo Street at approximately 8:55 a.m., police said.
According to LAPD public information officers, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office declared the death a homicide because the victim had sustained a gunshot wound. It was unclear when the actual homicide took place, but LAPD officials do not believe the incident was gang related.
Anyone with more information on the Boyle Heights crimes is urged to call 877-LAPD-247. Anyone with information on the East LA shooting should call (323) 890-5500.
This story was updated on Jan. 6 at 10:00 p.m. to add information about Dec. 31 homicide.