Toddler Killed in South LA Shooting

Authorities say the 22-month-old boy was in his uncle's arms when he was struck by a stray bullet

A 22-month-old boy died after he was shot in the head Monday night as his uncle held him in his arms outside a home in South Los Angeles, according to police.
The uncle, who was also shot in the head, was taken off life support Tuesday afternoon, according to Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry, who called for witnesses to come forward in the case.

“I urge anyone who knows anything about this, whether we post a reward or not, please come forward,” said Perry.

The toddler, identified as Joshua Montes, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The family says Joshua was born three months premature and had to undergo heart surgery before leaving the hospital.  He finally came home eight months ago.

“I wish it would be a dream, but it’s not," said Ana Montes, Joshua's 12-year-old sister. "So we all have to be brave, and we have to move forward.”     

Officer Karen Rayner said the shooting occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Monday as the uncle held the child near the porch of a home on East 55th Street. She said residents reported hearing multiple gunshots.

Shots were fired on the east side of Hooper Street, Capt. Mark Olvera of the Newton Station said. Several  rounds went through a vehicle and passed through two yard fences, hitting the  child and his uncle.

Family members identified the uncle as Josafar Canchona.

"'The victims were both at the wrong place at the wrong time,'' Olvera  said.

Rayner said police believe the two were unintended targets of random gunfire.
She said police have no suspects.

“They have to say because it’s not fair that guy or whoever did it took the life of my cousin and my uncle,” said Marlyn Castanedo, the toddler’s cousin, who’s concerned that someone will be too afraid to come forward with information.  “It’s not fair.”


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Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that the uncle of Joshua Montes had died from a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken off life support.

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