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Highland Park Homicide Victim Was a Gang Member

The assailants of 21-year-old Ernesto Ramirez are not believed to be from any particular gang, police say.

The bullet-ridden body of gang member Ernesto Ramirez was found in front of this set of houses on Benner Street. Credit: Ajay Singh
The bullet-ridden body of gang member Ernesto Ramirez was found in front of this set of houses on Benner Street. Credit: Ajay Singh
A man found shot to death in Highland Park Tuesday was a documented gang member, although police believe his killing is not tied to his gang affiliation, nor is it part of the retaliatory gang warfare that erupts in the neighborhood from time to time.

The Los Angeles Police Department identified the slain man Wednesday as Ernesto Ramirez, a 21-year-old Highland Park resident, but Capt. Jeff Bert, commander of the LAPD Northeast Community Station, declined to give the victim’s gang affiliation for investigatory reasons.

The murder occurred in an area that is “home to several gangs, most notably the Avenues,” Bert told Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch, adding: “The LAPD has no indication at this time that, although the victim was a gang member, his assailants were from a particular gang.”

Bert said Northeast detectives have “some good investigative leads we’re following up on.”

Ramirez’s body was found at 4:55 p.m. Tuesday on the 4700 block of Benner Street, a leafy residential area near Avenue 57 where some of his relatives live. He was standing on the sidewalk when he was shot multiple times with a handgun, Bert said, adding that Ramirez ran a few yards and collapsed.

His assailants are believed to have fled in a car toward Avenue 57, which leads to the 110 freeway. Ramirez was rushed to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he succumbed to his wounds at 6:48 p.m.

Dozens of Avenues gang members were arrested in a 2009 countywide joint taskforce operation that included the LAPD and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

“What we’re seeing now is that as time goes on, some of them are getting out [of prison],” Bert said. “As a result, I’m putting most of my gang units in Highland Park, but I’m also working with interventionists and [gang] prevention workers” from organizations such as the Children’s Hospital and the All Saints Episcopal Church on Monte Vista Street, Bert added.

Mother Alexandra Conrads, a priest at the All Saints church, was at Huntington Hospital on Tuesday night for eight hours, offering prayers, Bert said.

KingSlav May 30, 2013 at 03:01 PM
With the recent lifting of the more than a decade long consent decree and the end of federal oversight, LAPD now has more leeway to control small-time criminals before their crimes get to the level of murder. Start cracking down on ALL Highland Park crime, LAPD!!!
Margarito Martinez May 30, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Benner has been a plague for as long as I can rmember... I am fifty years of age, a Highland Park native... currently, I am being harrassed by a known member of The Avenues Gang, Joaquin E Gonzales, aka Turtle... he lives with his Mama, in Highland Park, collects WIC, for his 3 yr old son, (who already has a madated report for child neglect, and poss physical abuse), and along with his Mother, Lupe D Noriega, (who somehow holds a position of trust at Victory Outreach Eagle Rock), have comitted crimes against my grandmother, Concepcion L Diaz, age 92- in fact, on the 8th of this month, my mother, Lupe (Turtle is my half brother), assaulted (presumably) her mother, Concepcion. Then, took her to Healthcare Partners, on Fair Oaks, in Pasadena. Since then, the police are aware that my mother has egaged in crimes against my garndmother. Including, but limited to, Elder Abuse, Bank fraud, ID Thief, Real Estate Fraud, and Tax Evasion. But because my half brother is a Police Informant, a Snitch, the fuzz let him, and my mother get away with murder... yes, murder. Because the Po Leese are also aware that my mother, L D Noriega, has info. about the gang related beating murder of her second husband, Albert Gonzales, back in the Summer of 1971. WTF?? Is up with NE DIV? Raid Benner already! And stop protecting the guilty, while the innocent suffer! More on my facebook, www.facebook.com.margaritomartinez.MOG and my Blog, www.revmargaritomartinez.wordpress.com
Stephanie Quijada June 08, 2013 at 05:01 PM
This is false information. He was listed as a gang member by the police but he was never in a gang. I am his girlfriend (I would know). This does nothing but anger me because now people will start caring less about the matter. It's time to learn all the facts.
Michelle Rascon June 25, 2013 at 02:32 PM
The LAPD is a joke they will never find justice for this victim. They will just put more cops on the street to harass the rest of us.

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