Two arrested in Salas “ambush attack”

Rayshawn and Nick Blackwell of Monrovia were brought into a Pasadena courtroom this morning to face charges in the Jan. 26 slaying of Sammantha Salas in an unincorporated portion of southern Monrovia.

The case brought scrutiny to a race war between black and Hispanic gangs that heated up neighborhoods in Monrovia, Duarte and unincorporated Arcadia for several months between the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008.
The shootings created a peace activism movement in the area as well. Most importantly, Sammantha’s death led her mother to establish a scholarship fund in her daughter’s name. Here’s the story as it stands:

PASADENA _ Two men suspected in the January 2008 slaying of 16-year-old Sammantha Salas in Monrovia are scheduled for arraignment on charges of murder and attempted murder in superior court this morning, officials said.

Rayshawn Blackwell and Nickleis Blackwell, who are both in custody will be charged with the Jan 26, 2008 slaying of Salas and the attempted murder of her unidentified friend.

The shooting came during a turf battle between black and hispanic gangs in the Monrovia area. Salas mother’ Jeanette Chavez, said she was notified of the arrests last evening.

“I’m really excited to hear about this,” Chavez said. “I was able to sleep. And this morning I got up early.”

Chavez admitted following the case through the legal system won’t be easy.

“That’s going to be a challenge,” she said.”

It’s unclear if a reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Salas’e killers’ played a factor in the arrests of the Blackwells. The two match a pair of composite drawings cuirculated in the case late last year. On Thursday, detectives identified a third teen who was at the scene of the Salas shooting. He apparently fled when shots rang out and was difficult to locate until recently. The teen was not identified.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide Lt. Dan Rosenberg said the teen was not a gang member.

The detective described the slaying as an “ambush-type attack.”

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email