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Authorities arrest three dozen suspects for South Los Angeles gang war

December 14, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest three dozen suspects for South Los Angeles gang war

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Authorities have apprehended over three dozen suspects associated with a trio of rival gangs in South Los Angeles, whose violence led to at least nine murders and other retaliatory assaults, officials announced on Monday.

For over one year, a team of local and federal detectives has concentrated on quelling what officials described as a violent gang war in the Vermont Corridor. The violence arose from an alliance between two groups that targeted a third.

Authorities said that 38 people were taking into custody for their roles in various murders and other assaults. According to Sheriff Jim McDonnell, the arrests dealt the gangs a “severe blow.”

“The recklessness of these brazen murders and assaults shook the community to the core,” he stated. “Residents did not feel safe enough to leave their homes.”

One of the murders linked to the rivalry was last summer’s slaying of Kenneth Peevy, who was shot and killed in a yard. The 27-year-old’s killing and a series of shootings that followed provoked fear in South Los Angeles as stories spread that a gang had pledged 100 days of violence for revenge. Disturbing hashtags, including #100days100nights and #PrayforLA, went viral on social media.

Bill Scott, the LAPD Deputy Chief, advised that detectives never found evidence of a vow of 100 days of violence, stating the rumors grew to become “somewhat of an urban legend.”

Alternatively, he added that the shootings that people viewed on the street derived from traditional, retaliatory gang violence that was already occurring.

“The actual murder of Kenneth Peevy was a part of our investigation regarding trying to link everything together and paint a bigger picture of what was going on,” Scott continued. “The violence was very real, don’t get me wrong. It was very real. But the 100 days thing is something that took on a life of its own.”

McDonnell added that the crimes connected to the gangs targeted by the task force included the March 2015 murder of a man fixing his car in the parking lot of an AutoZone. Also, the suspects were responsible for a shooting last summer that killed a 24-year-old and injured three others, and another shooting that wounded a victim who wasn’t affiliated with any gangs but lived in an area controlled by one.

Prosecutors charged 29 people in the probe, the district attorney’s office reported, on charges that include attempted murder, murder, conspiracy, and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

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