One day after funeral services were held for a 1-year- old girl fatally shot in Compton, hundreds of people gathered in Compton Sunday to demand justice and an end to gang violence.
The “Save Our Children” march and rally in honor of victim Autumn Johnson, organized by the Compton Gang Prevention and Intervention Program, began at Lueders Park in the 1500 block of East Rosecrans Avenue and ended at City Hall on Willowbrook Avenue.
Johnson was asleep in her crib at home in a converted garage when a gunman got out of a car in the 300 block of North Holly Avenue in Compton and fired bullets into the structure around 7 p.m. Feb. 9, hitting her in the face, authorities said.
Because fire department paramedics had not arrived, sheriff’s deputies rushed the infant to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where she was pronounced dead.
Witnesses told sheriff’s investigators that the attack was carried out by two males in a dark four-door sedan, with one of them opening fire into the converted garage, said Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The car was described as a newer model blue four-door Chevrolet Impala. Detectives believe the shooting was gang-related.
The Compton City Council has authorized a $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for the killing and the county Board of Supervisors and the FBI each plan to match that amount.
“They’re killing babies now? You know, this was my future. She was the baby, and I’m rather pissed,” her grandmother, Blanche Richardson Wandick said at the scene. “I appreciate everything that everybody is doing, but it still ain’t enough for me, ’cause she still ain’t here.”
She said her granddaughter was just learning to walk when her young life was cut short.
“When it comes to our babies being killed, what the hell is a snitch,” she said. “It ain’t about being a snitch. It’s about, ‘Where is your soul?’ “
Autumn’s father has admitted he is a gang-member and said he probably was the intended target of the shooting.
Anyone with information on the shooting was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
—City News Service