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News Release

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Media Relations

Police Seek Gang Member in Shooting of 9 Year Old

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police detectives and the mother of 9-year-old Charupha Wongwisetsiri are asking the public's help in locating gang members involved in a shooting last night, December 20, that left Charupha clinging to life in a local hospital.

Around 8:25 PM, a group of men in their teens and early twenties drove up to the front of 831 East Kensington Road, in the Angeleno Heights area of Los Angeles. One Hispanic man, armed with a gun, got out and confronted another group of rival gang members. One or more of the rivals fired at the armed assailant.

While none of the involved gang members were apparently injured, one bullet tore through the house across the street, and struck Charupha in the head as she stood next to her mother in their kitchen at 830 East Kensington Road.

Charupha's mother, Kamaonphorn Maxwell, scooped up her daughter and rushed her to Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Ms. Maxwell, a native of Thailand, remained at the hospital with her daughter, but she conveyed through her brother that she hoped the involved suspects would step forward and turn themselves in.

Rampart homicide detectives have worked around the clock since the shooting and identified a person of interest, Cesar Zamora, 24. "We have a strong belief Zamora was present at the shooting, and we'd like to speak to him," said Rampart Detective Rick Ramos. "We are pursuing other leads and hope to identify more of the assailants."

Detectives have already questioned and released one man, whom they believe may have been present at the confrontation.

Cesar Zamora is 5' 4" tall and was born on March 24, 1982. Detectives served a search warrant at Zamora's home this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Rampart Homicide Detectives at 213-207-2060. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).