Caruthers, who volunteered at a local children’s centre, was sat on a bench in the middle of the afternoon on the 1500 block of Wst 62nd Street when a man walked up and shot him multiple times in the torso.
“We believe it was gang-related based on the suspect’s action,” said LAPD Det. Chris Barling in an interview with the LA Times. “The shooter thought he was targeting a gang member. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, somebody doesn’t walk up and shoot somebody on a park bench. That is something a gang member would do.”
The shooting happened right by a children’s park and recreation centre which includes a gymnasium/auditorium, a baseball diamond, basketball courts, a football field, picnic tables, a soccer field and tennis courts.
The sad irony is that Caruthers, who lived locally, volunteered at the recreation centre’s anti-gang program, Summer Night Lights, which offers alternative activities for the neighborhood youth to do in the evenings. Caruthers was pronounced dead on the scene.
In an interview with KCAL-TV (Channel 9) the victim’s mother “Patrick didn’t have any enemies. He didn’t bother anybody,” She said. “His love was music and going to church. He loved church.He was not involved in any crime of any nature,” she said. “He was just a child trying to live his life.”
The gunman apparently fled to a waiting car that squealed off from the scene. There is some conflicting reports as to the style and make of the car and further confusion was added when the initial police statement said the incident was a drive-by shooting.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call (800) 222-TIPS or homicide detectives at (213) 485-1383.