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Gang Member Turned Gang Interventionist Killed After Confronting Tagger

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Photo by CarbonNYC via Flickr
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We've seen it time after time. Someone approaches a tagger in action and they get shot, usually fatally. The LAPD recommends getting out of harms way and calling 911, but when former Crips gang member Ronald L. Barron saw a tagger spray painting on Sunday evening on Pico Boulevard, he approached him. There was good reason for that, however, as Barron had transformed his life, becoming a gang outreach and intervention worker. "The confrontation and shooting occurred in front of numerous witnesses, in the middle of a busy Boulevard," the LAPD explained in a news release (to be exact, it happened on the 5000 block of Pico). "Witnesses described the suspect as calmly walking away after shooting Barron point blank, and then disappearing into a nearby residential area."

It didn't take long for police to catch up with the suspected killer. A 16-year-old was identified with a surveillance tape and with the help of the Los Angeles Unified School police, according to the LA Times. "He's a tagger, not a gang member," emphasized LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

Initially, the suspect was described as a male Hispanic, 20-25 years, dark short hair, approximately 6’00” tall, 180 lbs., thin build, by police.