Family Pleads for Public's Help As They Mourn Slain 7-Year-Old

The boy died one night after he was shot while sitting in a parked car

By Christina Cocca and Beverly White
|  Thursday, Dec 5, 2013  |  Updated 9:46 AM PDT
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As mourners gathered to remember 7-year-old Talaib Pecante, who died after being struck by gunfire, family and friends pleaded for the public's help in finding those who are responsible for the boy's death. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

As mourners gathered to remember 7-year-old Talaib Pecante, who died after being struck by gunfire, family and friends pleaded for the public's help in finding those who are responsible for the boy's death. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

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Candles and decorated jerseys adorned a Los Angeles park Wednesday night as family and friends remembered a 7-year-old who was fatally struck by gunfire in West Los Angeles earlier this week.

The boy, Talaib Pecante, died in the hospital Tuesday night after he was shot while sitting in a parked car one night earlier in West Los Angeles, police said. Police were still looking for gunmen.

"I just want the individuals that did this to my son ... Look how you affected these babies. All these babies, these are his teammates," the boy’s father Talaib Hussain said.

The second grader played football for the Compton Vikings, and Pop Warner football supporters of all ages huddled Wednesday night to honor one of their own.

"(The children) give us so much as adults. What we give them is very small,” coach Damon Fields said. “They don't realize how they impact us as adults."

Pecante’s mother and a 31-year-old man were also injured in the shooting. His mother was at the vigil but did not want to speak to media.

The family remembered when Talaib, as an infant in 2007, visited then-Senator Barack Obama, pictured at right. 

"We're asking, anybody that saw anything to call the tip line,” friend Lita Herron pleaded. “That's the least you can do for this baby. Call the tipline and help our community get these murderers out of our neighborhoods."

The boy’s sister said through tears she knows her slain brother will be with her in spirit.

"Talaib, I love you and I just want you to watch over all of us. Watch over me while I'm on the track,” sister Morgan Pecante said. “Make sure I cross that line. And get to where I want to go."

Police said four black males wearing black hooded jackets were seen driving off in a white car. Investigators found "numerous shell casings" at the scene, according to Los Angeles police.

Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call 310-444-0702.

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