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Los Angeles Kings offer reward for 1-year-old boy's killer

Los Angeles authorities and a major local corporation are offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the capture the bicyclist who shot and killed a 1-year-old boy Monday while he was in his father’s arms, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Police Chief Charlie Beck called the shooting of Angel Mauro Cortez-Nava by a teenage assassin wearing a hoodie an “awful tragedy.” The boy’s father, Mauro Cortez, 24, was also injured in the shooting near their home.

"Gang violence touches everybody," he said. "People have to understand that even though gang members may target each other, victims cross a wide, broad swath. It's extremely unfortunate," he told the board and the Los Angeles Times.

The cyclist fired several shots as he rode by, police said.

The infant was shot in the stomach and died at a hospital following surgery. The father was struck in the shoulder and was released from the hospital Tuesday.

They have not released a motive, but Beck, relatives and neighbors all pointed to the gang feud.

The attacker was black and the father is Latino, authorities said. Neighbors told the Times they have been caught in the crossfire of a six-month turf war between Fudgetown, a black gang, and the Hispanic Barrio Grape Street gang.

The city council voted Tuesday to offer a $50,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest and conviction.

The Los Angeles Kings, on the verge of winning their first Stanley Cup, doubled the reward by offering their own $50,000, the team announced Tuesday night.

Tim Leiweke, president of the group that owns the Kings, said the team was offering the reward "to make sure everyone knows this is unacceptable in our city."

At the time of the shooting the Kings were just 10 miles away at Staples Center in the process of going up 3-0 on the New Jersey Devils.

In an interview with CBS2 Tuesday, Cortez said through a translator that he was devastated, that his son was everything to him and that he is scared. He asked the public for help finding the gunman.

The gang feud has resulted in more than a half-dozen killings in the area in the last year, police said.

"I have seen plenty of people pass away here. For a child to go, this has to stop immediately," neighbor Marcus Williams said. "When a child, a child, a baby, this kid didn't have a chance at life. It really hurt. I'm afraid to let my kids play in the yard now. This is right across the street."

One of the men Cortez was with on the sidewalk may have been wearing a purple shirt when the shooting took place, a color some associate with the Barrio Grape Street gang, the Times said. Grape Street is one block west of Hickory.

Cortez is an immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, who did odd jobs, friends and relatives told the Times. When he showed up three years ago, the Cervantes family took him in, matriarch Sara Cervantes said.
Cortez had nothing to do with any gang, neighbors said.

He got married and in 2011, Angel was born.

"He was always here playing with the baby. The baby was his life," said Maria Trujillo, another member of the family. "With these shootings going on, you don't feel safe in your own front yard," she added.

"There was a shooting around over there on the corner a block away; one on Wilmington, and another up around the corner," said Miguel Medina, an unemployed construction worker who has lived on the street for five years. "When I came here it was calm, but then six months ago they began killing each other."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from The Los Angeles Times

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