3-year-old Girl Killed, Father Wounded in Baldwin Hills

September 25, 2006

Los Angeles: A little girl was killed, and her 24-year-old father was critically wounded on Sunday afternoon in Baldwin Hills. Detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in finding the men responsible for this murder.
Around 2:45 p.m., September 24, 2006, Kaitlyn Avila, 3, was in her father’s car, parked in front of their home, at 4534 Pinafore Street. As Kaitlyn’s father was preparing to remove the child from the car, two men in a gray minivan drove by.

A passenger stepped out of the van and walked up to the Avila’s car. The man fired several times, mortally hitting Kaitlyn and critically wounding her father. Both victims were taken to a local hospital, where Kaitlyn did not recover from her injuries.

"There has been outpouring of grief and concern from the neighborhood," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "The detectives worked through the night and into the early
morning hours. Dozens of persons have called in with clues."

The detectives will sort out the clues to find the suspects. "This is a high priority investigation," Vernon said. "Perhaps the community’s outrage will lead to a quick capture."

The suspects’ description was vague: two Black men in a gray minivan. Detectives believe the suspects were gang members.

This weekend’s shooting stands in contrast to the overall reduction in murders in the area. The homicide rate is down over 34 percent for the Southwest Area, compared to the same period last year.

Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to contact Southwest Homicide Detectives Stan Evans or Dorian Henry at 213-485-2417. After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

Tipsters may remain anonymous.