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Family Members Inconsolable After 14-Year-Old Gunned Down In South LA

LOS ANGELES ( —  Family members are asking for the public's help in finding the person who shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in South Los Angeles over the weekend.

Relatives said Elawnza Peebles was walking home after lifting weights when he was shot near West 46th Street and South Kansas Avenue around 9:40 p.m. Saturday.

Fire officials found Peebles, who recently moved to the neighborhood from Victorville, in a driveway. The ninth-grader was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

Police said they don't have a car or suspect description. Homicide detectives said Peebles had no gang-affiliation and was an innocent victim.

"He doesn't gang-bang. He doesn't gang-bang at all," said Peebles' mother, Carresha Skiffer.

Skiffer later said, "My baby was running for his life. I couldn't imagine what he felt and how he suffered. That's what really stresses me. How he suffered. He didn't deserve it."

Some relatives pointed out that Peebles was wearing a hoodie and said it may have contributed to him being targeted.

"Why would they take my grandson? I really want to know why would they do that," cried the victim's grandmother, Brenda Chatman. "He was so innocent. He was a good kid."

Skiffer said her son recently lost his great-grandmother and moved to Los Angeles to start a new chapter in his life.

"You took him from me and you didn't hurt me. You hurt everybody. That boy didn't deserve that. My baby still had the twinkle in his eye. He never kissed a girl before. He had his innocence," she said.

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in memory of Peebles, who had just started to attend Manual Arts High School. Principal Robert Whitman said grief counselors will be at the school on Tuesday to help students cope with their loss.

"I am very saddened that a 14-year-old boy is dead today; one of my students," Whitman said.

Anyone with information about the crime was asked to contact Det. Eric Crosson or Det. Miguel Gutierrez of the Los Angeles Police Department's Criminal Gang/Homicide Division at (213) 485-1383.

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