Suspect Arrested in Killing of Well-Known Anti-Gang Counselor

A suspect was arrested Tuesday in the killing of a well-known anti-gang counselor who was shot to death when he confronted a tagger writing graffiti in Los Angeles, police said.

Los Angeles police Officer Bruce Borihanh said further information will be released Tuesday afternoon at a news conference.

Police say the former gangster, Ronald "Looney" Barron, was killed Sunday night when he left a bar in central Los Angeles and noticed a tagger defacing a wall. Police say when confronted, the tagger pulled out a gun and shot the 40-year-old Barron multiple times. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

A former member of the Mansfield Crips, Barron worked for the past decade for Amer-I-Can, which runs a gang intervention program in which former gangsters counsel youth to avoid crime and violence.

"He turned around hard-core gang members," said Vicky Lindsay, executive director of Project Cry No More, a Compton-based group that counsels mothers of children killed in gang violence. "He was well, well loved."

Fear about violence in retaliation for Barron's killing led the Mayor's Office on Gang Reduction and Youth Development to hastily call a meeting of gang intervention workers late Monday.

Officials were anxious for anti-gang workers to get the word out on the street that the killing was not pinned on a specific gang, said Lindsay, one of about 40 attendees at the meeting.

An emotional vigil was held Monday night at the scene of the killing.

Barron's killing is the latest in which taggers have fatally shot passersby who confronted them about graffiti writing.