Monday, 20 January 2014

Welcome to LA's 'death alley which has had 60 homicides in seven years

Christopher Calver Jr., 38, shows a scar on his stomach, the remnants of one of seven bullets that hit him in a drive-by shooting in 2012 in an area of South Los Angeles known as Westmont. "One of my friends almost died in my arms right off Vermont," Chris said of a recent victim of a drive-by shooting
Pedestrians make their way along Vermont Avenue, aka 'Death Alley,' in the Westmont area of South Los Angeles

People hang out in front of a pawn shop along Vermont Avenue -- 'Death Alley' -- and 83rd Street in the Westmont area of South Los Angeles

A new series of photos shows a daily life in Westmont, Los Angeles -- including a 2-mile stretch where 60 people have been killed since 2007.

Nicknamed 'Death Alley,' it is part of the city's South Vermont Avenue, and goes up to the Imperial Highway.
Most of the people killed on this road were shot to death.

Westmont is one of the deadliest places to live in Los Angeles County -- 100 people were killed in the 1.8 mile space between Los Angeles and Inglewood in the last seven years, The Los Angeles Times reports.
The community does have its own city government, according to the paper. Though Westmont has a youth center and various school programs, there is no large-scale violence prevention movement.
Neighboring town Vermont Vista also borders 'Death Alley' -- and has had 57 homicides in the same time period compared to Westmont.
Black Westmont residents are 'killed at four times the rate of Latinos,' the paper reported. An estimated 40 percent live below the poverty line. 
One resident, Christopher Caver Jr., said 'It's just Vermont. It's one of the most dangerous places in L.A.'
Street gangs dominate Westmont, including the Underground Crips, South Los, The Hoovers, 8 Trey Gangsters, the Raymond Crips and the Rollin' 100s, the paper reports.
Police recalled how while on patrol, men lifted their shirts up to show they did not have guns tucked into their waistbands.
One mother, Angela Hawkins, said she was saving up to move away her and her three children.
'I want them to be able to go out and play and everything, and not have to worry about being shot, and seeing guns and stuff like that,' she told the paper. “That’s too much for me.'


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