Authorities are searching for two people seen fleeing the scene after a teenage boy was shot and killed in Boyle Heights Friday night, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Officers heard the shots ring out just before midnight in the area of Wabash and Evergreen avenues and responded to find the teenager lying unresponsive on the ground, suffering from gunshot wounds, LAPD Sgt. Mariscal said.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Mariscal. Coroner's officials and loved ones identified him as 17-year-old Ricardo Ramirez, who lived nearby.
A motive for the shooting is unclear, but police said it appears to be a possible gang-related incident.
Ramirez had just worked his second day at a new job and decided to stop by a friend's home after his shift when he was killed, family members wrote on a memorial web page set up to collect donations to cover funeral expenses.
" He was innocent and suddenly killed after being caught in the crossfire of a shooting," his family wrote.
"Ricardo was young and happy, so full of life and always made the best out of what he had," the statement continued. "He was a loving son, brother, boyfriend and friend."
Ramirez's girlfriend, Sarah Vidovic, said she spoke to Ramirez shortly before he was killed.
"He had a pretty good day. He was happy when I talked to him," she said.
Vidovic said he couldn't imagine any reason why anyone would want to hurt Ramirez. "He was not part of any gangs," she said.
Ramirez was working at a restaurant washing dishes, she said.
"His dream was always to become a chef. He was a really good cook," Vidovic said.
"He was very friendly. He loved life. He liked to make the best out of it," she said. "He was such a good person and he didn’t deserve this."
Investigators were canvassing the area for evidence Saturday morning, and searching for surveillance video from nearby businesses that could help identify a suspect in the shooting, police said.
Authorities did not provide a description of the two seen fleeing the area.
Video from the scene showed officers combing through a business-lined street, flashlights in hand, searching the ground and storefronts as several patrol cars and firetrucks swarmed the street.
In an area closed off with police tape, numerous evidence markers could be seen on the sidewalk, some marking what appeared to be bullet casings on the ground.
No further details were available.
Vidovic said she's seen far too much violence.
"I really hope we can make a change around here," she said, holding back tears. "There have been so many of my friends and people I know killed at such a young ages because of gang violence, and it’s terrible."