A 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death in Gardena of a 17-year-old honor student who investigators believe was mistaken for a rival gang member, police confirmed Tuesday.
Marcos Medina of Los Angeles and the teenager were arrested last Thursday in connection with the Feb. 22 killing of David Amaro-Poblano, who was gunned down while waiting for his mother to exit the home of a friend, according to Gardena Police Department Lt. Steve Prendergast.
On Monday, Medina was charged with one count of murder, with sentence-enhancing allegations that he used a handgun causing great bodily injury or death and that the shooting was committed on behalf of a criminal street gang. He is also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The juvenile, whose name was withheld because of his age, is also charged with murder, according to Prendergast.
“Gardena detectives believe Amaro-Poblano was mistakenly targeted as a member of a rival gang,” he said.
Medina, who is scheduled to be arraigned on June 25, is being held in lieu of $3.05 million bail at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.
The teen’s custody and court date status was not immediately available.
Amaro-Poblano was shot in the upper body about 7 p.m. in the 1400 block of 146th Street and died at a hospital.
The teen had grown up in Gardena, was on the honor roll and played soccer at Environmental Charter High School. He wanted to become a police officer and was in the process of joining the police Explorers program, Gardena police Chief Thomas Kang said in the days after the killing.
“This is a great kid,” Kang said. “He didn’t go out and hang out with anyone. He just did the thing that most kids do, and just be with his girlfriend and his mom. He loved his family.”
KC Fabiero, principal of Environmental Charter High, said the boy was known for making his classmates laugh and was part of the school’s 121-member senior class. He had recently been accepted to Cal State Dominguez Hills, she said.
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