Shootings In South L.A. Last Summer Were Racially Motivated, D.A. says

Written by Ann Brown

A series of shootings last summer in Los Angeles was not random. They were racially motivated, say prosecutors. An Inglewood, Calif., man has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and hate crimes in shootings that targeted Blacks in South Los Angeles.

The suspect, Daniel Martinez, 31, has pleaded not guilty, nearly a year after the 2018 shootings.

According to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, Martinez intentionally targeted people because of their race. There were eight victims — six men, a woman and a child — and they were Black.

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“The alleged rampage began Aug. 17, 2018, when authorities say Martinez fired on Samuel Isaac Ferguson, a 27-year-old college student who was driving home from work on the 91 Freeway in Gardena,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

Ferguson was pronounced dead at a hospital.  

On Aug. 19, a family that included a 3-month-old baby was in their car when it was targeted in a drive-by shooting. The couple had injuries only from the broken car window glass. Their infant daughter was unhurt. Then on the next day, three friends were shot outside an apartment complex. All three suffered gunshot wounds and were taken to the hospital, one died that evening.

“Prosecutors say Martinez targeted another Black person three days later, on the morning of Aug. 23, when he shot into a car stopped at a light at Hyde Park Boulevard and West Avenue in Inglewood. The driver was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, which he survived,” L.A. Times reported.

That same night Martinez was arrested. The pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.

“Martinez, who is being held without bail, could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged,” KTLA reported.