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Taburi Watson, 14 [Updated]

Taburi Watson, a 14-year-old African American, was fatally shot Wednesday, Dec. 29, in the 8700 block of South St. Andrews Place in Gramercy Park, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Taburi was riding his bike near St. Andrews Place and 87th Street about 7:25 p.m. when one or more assailants fired shots.

More than one bullet struck the teenager, who staggered a short distance from his bicycle and collapsed. Neighbors came outside after hearing shots to find him lying on the ground. Taburi was declared dead after being  taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

His death is the fourth in December with probable links to two warring Crips gangs in the Manchester Square and Gramercy Park areas east of Inglewood, Los Angeles police Det. Eric Crosson said.

At the time of his shooting, Taburi was wearing clothes 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 should call detectives at (213) 485-1383. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

[Update Jan. 13: $50,000 reward offered for Gramercy Park shooting death]

-- Howard Blume

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