The killing of a 14-year-old black girl in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles was racially motivated, and the Hispanic gunman remains at large
"We are labeling it as a hate crime," said Officer Martha Garcia of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations office.
Cheryl Green was fatally shot about 3:10 p.m. Friday near 206th Street and Harvard Boulevard, Garcia said.
Three other teens -- two girls and a boy -- were also wounded, but survived, Garcia said.
"It just makes no sense to me," Cheryl's 19-year-old brother, David Cary, told the Daily Breeze. "She had her whole life ahead of her. ... Just because of the color of her skin."
Cheryl was shot about a block from her home.
The killer opened fire on the girl and her teenage friends as they stood on a corner.
Family members believe they were targeted because of their race, the newspaper reported.
The Stephen M. White Middle School eighth-grader possibly became the latest innocent victim in the escalating battle between Hispanic and black gangs in Harbor Gateway, the newspaper reported.
According to the newspaper, the area north of 206th Street between Western and Normandie avenues is Hispanic, and the area south of 206th is black. Cheryl -- who had nothing to do with gangs -- was on the black side of the line when she was shot.
Police said a Hispanic gunman walked up to Cheryl and seven friends hanging out just an hour after school ended. Winter vacation had just begun when the shooter opened fire.
"It's another senseless act of violence," LAPD Harbor Station Detective Mike Falvo said. "It's pretty disgusting."
Teens told Cheryl's family the gunman was young, possibly Cheryl's age, and he appeared scared as he pulled the trigger.
The bullet, Cheryl's siblings said, grazed a girlfriend's head before hitting Cheryl's side.
Cheryl's friends rushed her and the three other wounded teens in their own car to a hospital, where doctors told them Cheryl had died instantly.
The Harbor Gateway has been a treacherous place for blacks and Hispanics since the mid- to late-1990s, when blacks started moving into the largely Hispanic area, the newspaper reported.
Numerous racially motivated shootings and killings have occurred on both sides of the line and blacks have found racial epithets scrawled on their homes soon after moving in.
Black and Hispanic ‘Hate’ in LA County