Gunman Shoots Up Compton Home, Kills 1-Year-Old

Her death was likely gang-related: cops
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2016 11:36 AM CST
Updated Feb 10, 2016 11:41 AM CST

A toddler who celebrated her first birthday last week saw her life cut short by a gunman who opened fire outside her family's home in Compton, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials say Autumn Johnson was in her crib (though neighbors tell NBC Los Angeles she was in her father's arms) in a converted garage Tuesday evening when a man got out of a dark-colored sedan, approached the home, and fired at it. A witness says she heard gunshots, then a woman yelling, "They shot my baby!" The witness went outside after calling 911 and says she saw the dad come out with Autumn, crying and saying, "Someone take my baby to the hospital." Autumn, who was shot in the head, was pronounced dead at St. Francis Medical Center. Neighbors tell NBC the gunman was a passenger in the getaway car. The Washington Post notes police believe it was a gang-related shooting, per a sheriff's department statement Wednesday.

"It's not surprising because it's the city of Compton, for its name," a 47-year-old man who was at Bible study a few blocks away tells the Times, though he adds "it's surprising to me because it's a baby." Per Times records, Compton has registered 475 violent crimes over the past six months, including eight homicides. And both the Post and Times document violent crimes that have affected young children in particular. But the Post notes Compton is "not the same place it was 25 or 30 years ago, menaced by gang violence and drive-by shootings" and that it's come a long way since it was featured in NWA lyrics, with recent shootings at "something of a historic low." "When I think about Compton, I think about redemption," Mayor Aja Brown told NPR last summer. (Chicago's shooting stats for 2016 are already jaw-dropping.)

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