News Briefs

North Hollywood Teen Killed by Gang Violence
Posted by Tahirah Farris on Aug 21, 2005 - 10:51:00 PM

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NORTH HOLLYWOOD — North Hollywood gang violence claimed the life of 15-year-old Samuel Salas last Saturday night as he attempted to defend his friend. Salas and his 21-year-old friend, who is disabled, were on their way to a party at 11:00 p.m. when they were approached by gang members.

Salas, a student at Options for Youth in Burbank — an independent study public charter school — and his friend were confronted by a group of Latino gang members who demanded to know what gang the pair was affiliated with. When the two replied that they were not involved in gangs, a group of four to five gang members began attacking Salas' friend, who was paralyzed on his left side in a car accident 12 years ago. He could not defend himself.

Salas reportedly told the gang members to leave his friend alone and tried to intervene, which cost him his life. Other gang members joined in the dispute with the group, totaling about a dozen people. One of them pulled out a handgun and shot Salas in the head. Salas was found suffering from the gunshot wound, lying in an alley near the 11400 block of Tiara Street near Tujunga Avenue. He died Sunday, Aug. 14, at LA County/ USC Medical Center.

Police are still hoping for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

“No arrests have been made in the case and we are really seeking the help of the public and people who live in the neighborhood,” stated LAPD Homicide Detective Mike Coffey. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the North Hollywood Station detectives at (818) 623-4045 or the North Hollywood Patrol desk at (818) 623-4016.