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Victims and victimizers

February 24, 2009

It was late at night when non-gang member David and his gang member
friend were hanging out at a park close to his home in Los Angeles.
David had left his house while his single mom was working at her second
job. She would arrive by 2 a.m.

Minutes later, gang members got out of a car and started shooting.
David’s best friend died in his arms. David, who was 13 at the time,
later told a prison chaplain he could not make out what his friend was
trying to tell him at the moment of his death because there was so much
blood coming out of his mouth, but he thinks he was asking him to tell
his mom that he was sorry. A week after, David joined a gang.

Now, at age 16, David — who had never been convicted of a felony
— is facing four life sentences for attempted murder, having
participated in a shooting where a gang member was wounded in
retaliation for the killing of David’s friend. David was not the
principal offender, he did not shoot anybody.

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