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Two young California boys were murdered outside two separate elementary schools this week in the Los Angeles area.
One 12-year-old boy was executed in broad daylight Monday outside of Wilmington Park Elementary in Wilmington, a Los Angeles neighborhood adjacent to Long Beach.
The deceased child, Alexander Alvarado, was seated in his family’s SUV with his stepmother when “at least two suspects approached the car and started shooting,” killing him and injuring her, as reported by local station KTTV.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a fourth-grade girl was also “hit by a stray bullet as she watched her brother play kickball” on the school’s playground as part of an extracurricular school program called Beyond the Bell.
Both Alvarado’s stepmother and the unnamed girl survived. He did not.
“He was very innocent, very sweet and loving child. You don’t know what pain we feel now,” Jenny Romero, Alvarado’s biological mother, said in grief to local station KCAL.
According to KCAL, she added that “Alvarado was with his wife, Evelin, picking up his 10-year-old brother from an after-school program. That’s when someone Evelin described as a young teen came out of nowhere and started shooting at their car.”
“She said it came so quick, she didn’t even know what to do. She just stepped on the gas pedal real quick, but it was too late. Two bullets had already hit my son in the back. She said she didn’t even feel the one that she had in her stomach until the paramedics told her she was bleeding also,” Romero said.
Alvarado’s murder has shocked the community and provoked the nearly 10,000-strong Los Angeles Police Protective League union into offering a $20,000 reward for information on the suspects.
“This is more than a cold-blooded murder of a child and the shooting of his mother and an innocent young girl playing at an elementary school,” LAPPL president Craig Lally reportedly said in a press release.
“This is an attack on the sense of safety of all Angelenos; it rips at the very fabric of our society. We are offering this reward for information that leads to the apprehension and conviction of whoever is responsible for this cowardly act.”
Meanwhile, only about 20 miles away in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, another child, 14-year-old Jeremy Galvin, was murdered two days later across the street from First Street Elementary School.
“Jeremy Galvin, of Los Angeles, a student at Roosevelt High School, was shot dead Tuesday afternoon in the 2800 block of East 2nd Street, outside Evergreen Recreation Center and across the street from First Street Elementary School,” according to the Times.
“Officers patrolling in the area around 3:30 p.m. heard shots and responded to the scene, where they found the teenager conscious but barely breathing, LAPD officials told The Times on Tuesday night. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.”
In a joint statement released later Wednesday, Los Angeles school board member Mónica García and interim district superintendent Megan K. Reilly expressed “sadness” over both murders.
“We are grief-stricken. With heavy hearts, we join the families in mourning over the tragic events of the past week,” they said.
“From the multiple levels of violence in our community near Wilmington Park Elementary School and today in Boyle Heights — resulting in the death of a beloved student from Theodore Roosevelt High School — our school communities continue to be tested and challenged. There are no words to express the pain, the sadness and anger so many of us are feeling at this time.”
While the murders are horrifying, they’re not — or rather, they shouldn’t be — surprising given the rapid uptick in crime occurring in major blue metropolitans from New York City on the upper-east coast to Los Angeles on the nation’s lower-west coast.
Over in Chicago, a 71-year-old Chinese man who immigrated to the states 50 years ago was executed Tuesday while walking from his home to pick up a newspaper.
Friends of Woom Sing Tse, the 71 year old shot and killed in Chinatown yesterday, say he loved playing ping pong and did so several days a week at a community center. His wife called the center yesterday asking if he was there. He hadn’t made it. They are heartbroken. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/qPAhpqD2yG
— Jackie Kostek (@JackieKostek) December 8, 2021
Over in San Francisco, a 31-year-old Afghani immigrant who’d worked as a translator for the U.S. Army, Ahmad Fawad Yusufi, was murdered at a playground late last month.
UPDATE: Man shot dead near Rolph playground at Cesar Chavez & Potrero was Ahmad Fawad Yusufi, an Afghan refugee & father of 3 who worked as @Uber driver & had served as translator for @USArmy, family says. @SFPD @SFPDMission @sfpdinvestigate on the case pic.twitter.com/67phSZdGXQ
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) December 7, 2021
And over in Oakland, a 23-year-old month boy, Jasper Wu, was killed earlier this month by a stray bullet, and multiple people — including a mother, Michelle Paradiso, and a 61-year-old security services installer — were injured last month, the latter critically, by the same.
The response from those currently in power has been to shrug with indifference. Over in Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner this week claimed the city isn’t suffering from “a crisis of lawlessness” a “crisis of crime” or “a crisis of violence.”
In an op-ed published to The Philadelphia Inquirer, former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter called bull.
“It takes a certain audacity of ignorance and white privilege to say that right now. As of Monday night, 521 people, souls, spirits have been vanquished, eliminated, murdered in our City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, the most since 1960. I have to wonder what kind of messed up world of white wokeness Krasner is living in to have so little regard for human lives lost, many of them Black and brown, while he advances his own national profile as a progressive district attorney,” he wrote.
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