Thursday’s column

Corey Blount, a standout hoop star at Monrovia High School who played in the 1990s for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, called Wednesday from his home in Cincinnati.
I think about the city of Monrovia, the situation, Blount said. Whats going on is sad, man.
I lived there, was born there thats home, Blount continued. But now, I wouldnt want to raise my family in Monrovia. These gangs took the place of the KKK as far as eliminating the young Mexicans and the young black males. Now that they start taking the innocents, its a problem thats going to continue to escalate.
Blounts call came less than 12 hours after the death of another local athlete: Brandon Lee, 19, a one-time standout football player at Duarte High School.
During the 2006 season, he led the Falcons in tackles as a middle linebacker and picked up 86 yards rushing. People who knew him said Brandon was quick, agile and sure.
Just not quick, agile or sure enough to outrun the bullet that killed him Tuesday night in the 500 block of Almond Avenue in Monrovia.
Lees killing was the latest shooting in a racially motivated gang war pitting Latino gangs Monrovia Nuevo Barrio and Duarte Eastside against a black gang known as Duroc Crips.
The attacks and counterattacks date back more than a few months and are likely being ordered by shot-callers at Pelican Bay, Folsom and San Quentin.
Detectives believe Lee, a black man, was killed in retaliation for the shooting death Saturday of Sammantha<NO1>cq<NO> Salas, a 16-year-old Latina.
Sammantha was killed in a hail of automatic gunfire as she walked to the neighborhood dairy in the dark. A 16-year-old friend walking with her was also shot and severely wounded.
The teenagers death came as retaliation for the murder of 64-year-old Sanders Rollins, a black man killed on the steps of his home earlier in the month, police said.
Detectives now believe that Rollins was targeted in retaliation for the shooting death of Hector Acosta, 24, on Dec. 12 in Duarte.
Even in the midst of the escalation, some community leaders turn aside the suggestion there is a racial component to the violence. No one denies the tension in the air, or how its tearing Monrovias All-American image to shreds.
Elizabeth Roberts, who has lived in Monrovia since coming to California from Great Britain after World War II, said the current state of affairs reminds her of the war.
Its like London during the war years, Roberts said. Its very, very disturbing.
As for Monrovias All-American image, Roberts would say its tarnished if not gone outright.
Were supposed to be one nation, under God.
At almost the same time that Lee was shot to death Tuesday evening, police staged a raid on Rollins home in search of a gun connected to a Jan.<TH>15 shooting, officials said.
It was a show of force. A surge if you will.
Four blocks away, the police presence didnt scare the two men who walked up to Lee and fired. Cops acknowledging the proximity of the two events called Lees killing brazen.
Wednesday morning came bright, cold and breezy to the narrow, oil-stained and well-worn Almond Street just north of Monrovias high-tech business corridor on Huntington Drive.
Bullets left pockmarks in the stucco wall of the home and pierced the tailgate of an SUV in the driveway. Yellow police tape tied to a leaky swamp cooler flapped in the breeze.
Squinting in the early morning sun, James Bush, 45, who lives a few doors down from where Lee was slain, surveyed the scene and thought of his two teenage sons.
With all this going on, I dont even let them out, he said. Whats going on here is ridiculous. Dont shoot innocent people. Cowards shoot innocent people.

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  • Anonymous

    meetings tonight at community center 4:30
    district office at 6 and another at 7 pm at Annunciation church @ Longden and Peck.