Law enforcement authorities and family members of a 7 year old boy who was shot and killed while riding in a car in the Mid-City area last week made an impassioned plea on Tuesday for information that will lead to the boy’s killer.
The plea came during a press conference in which police and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, 10th District, announced that a $50,000 reward is being offered as an incentive for people to come forward with information. Wesson said he will ask the council to raise the reward to $75,000.
“We need the public’s help in getting the person or persons who committed this crime off the streets before they can do it to someone else’s child,” Wesson said. “Somebody saw something.”
The victim, Taalib Pecantte, was riding in the back seat of a car in the 1900 block of Corning St. at approximately 9 p.m. on Dec. 2 when at least two of four suspects opened fire. The boy was struck once in the chest. His mother, who was riding in the passenger seat, suffered a graze wound to her leg, while her friend, who was driving, was shot in the back. The boy’s mother, Sawan Mock, and her unidentified male friend were hospitalized and later released. Pecantte was hospitalized and initially showed signs of improving, but died on the evening of Dec. 3. Det. John Skaggs, of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Bureau Homicide Unit, said the investigators have few leads.
“We don’t know the motive. It has signs of gang activity, but the motive remains unknown,” Skaggs said.
The boy’s 28-year-old mother and her 31-year-old friend were not known to be involved in gangs. The victims were reportedly leaving a coin laundry near the location of the shooting when the incident occurred. It was initially reported that the suspects pulled alongside the victims’ vehicle in their car and began firing. Police are now looking into whether the suspects were outside of their car and fired at the victim, and then fled in the waiting vehicle.
Police have only a vague description of the suspects. They were described as four African American men wearing black hooded sweatshirts, and driving a white vehicle. The incident occurred in a neighborhood west of La Cienega Boulevard and north of Cadillac Avenue.
Skaggs said finding the suspects involved in the boy’s murder is a top priority, an added that a reward can be a powerful tool.
“That money has been known to motivate people. Definitely, I think somebody knows who did this,” Skaggs said. “The age and the innocence of the victim [make it] an urgency.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact investigators with the LAPD’s West Bureau Homicide Unit at (213)382-9470, During weekends and off hours, call the LAPD’s hotline at (877)LAPD247.
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