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Murder charges in Inglewood party ambush, other killings

Seven men were indicted this week on murder and other charges related to a shooting rampage in Inglewood, Compton and Los Angeles that left seven people dead and several others wounded more than two years ago.

The alleged gang shootings included the ambush killing of four people at a January 2021 birthday party on Park Avenue in Inglewood that left a scene of blood, bullet holes and balloons — one of the city’s worst acts of violence in decades.

Dist. Atty. George Gascón said Tuesday that a grand jury had handed down a 37-count indictment the previous day in connection with four separate incidents in December 2021 and January 2022.

“Today, we mark a significant development in our ongoing efforts to combat gun violence,” Gascón said.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said he hoped the indictment, which resulted from a joint investigation with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, would “bring some justice” to the families of the seven victims.

The seven people charged are suspected members or associates of the East Coast Crips 118, and they dubbed themselves the “shooter clique,” according to law enforcement sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. A video surveillance camera captured the horrific carnage of the shooting.

“We believe them to be involved in a South End gang and we believe others that have been involved in as victims also have associations with other rival street gangs,” Moore said, noting that innocent bystanders were also caught up in the shootings.

The motivation for the shooting, Moore said, stemmed from longstanding gang rivalries, including some that “grew out of a matter of some social media posts or what should otherwise have been inconsequential slight of one person or another.”

Photos of shooting victims with candles and cupcakes.

Photos of victims Marneysha Hamilton, left, and Breahna Stines at a memorial after the deadly shootings at Stines’ 20th birthday party.

(KTLA)

The seven men charged in the indictment pleaded not guilty Monday at their arraignments. The defendants include 24-year-old Kendale Taylor, 30-year-old Cory Ervin, 22-year-old Kalil Santos, 21-year-old Kevin Salter, 33-year-old Terrence Adams, 55-year-old Marvin Linnear and 25-year-old Semaj Brown. Each faces multiple counts for murder, attempted murder, assault and illegal weapons possession.

Taylor, Ervin and Santos are accused of shooting up the Inglewood home more than two years ago, an incident that began shortly after 1:30 a.m. at the 20th birthday party of one of the victims, Breahna Stines. The others killed were Teron Whitiker Jr. and Jayden Griffin, both 21, as well as Marneysha Hamilton, Stines’ 25-year-old sister.

Evidence markers outside a home.

Evidence markers at a house in Inglewood after the shootings.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Tiffney Stines, a family member of the victims, said after the suspects were indicted that she “was elated they are off the streets. I am happy.” She added that despite the lengthy investigation, she respected the process. She did not expect arrests to happen overnight, she said, but expects there will now be some justice.

According to LAPD and sheriff‘s investigators, the birthday party attack was the culmination of a killing rampage that began on Dec. 6, 2021, when Taylor, Ervin, Santos, Salter and Adams allegedly drove to an RV park at 195 E. 116th Place and shot multiple bullets into an RV, killing two men.

The next day, the four men allegedly drove to an Arco gas station on the 100 block of East El Segundo Boulevard in L.A., where they got out of the vehicle and shot two people sitting in a parked car. A third man sitting in another vehicle was also shot. All three survived.

Then, on Dec. 14, 2021, Ervin, Santos and Brown allegedly drove to a residence near Compton, where Brown and Santos fatally shot a man and injured another nearby person.

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