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$50,000 reward offered for Gramercy Park shooting death

The Los Angeles Police Department is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for killing a youth in Gramercy Park.

Officials announced Thursday that they are actively investigating the shooting death of Taburi Watson, a 14-year-old black male.

On Dec. 29, Taburi was riding his bike near St. Andrews Place and 87th Street about 7:25 p.m. when one or more assailants approached from behind and shot him.

According to coroner's records, he was hit several times. After the shooting, Taburi dropped his bike and ran east on 87th Street where he collapsed, police said.

Neighbors came outside after hearing shots to find him lying on the ground. Paramedics were called and he was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Officials said the shooter(s) left in an unknown direction.

LAPD 77th Division Det. Eric Crosson said Taburi's death was the fourth in December with probable links to two warring Crips gangs in the Manchester Square and Gramercy Park areas east of Inglewood.

At the time of his shooting, Taburi was wearing clothing suggesting an affiliation with one of the warring gangs, Crosson said. He was technically in “safe” territory for that gang, but near the turf of the rival gang.

Crosson called the violence part of an “escalating feud,” but added, “I’ve been in this division 13 years and they’ve been shooting each other the entire time.”

Anyone with information about the incident or the identity of the shooter(s) is asked to contact homicide detectives at (213) 485-1383. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Sarah Ardalani

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