Authorities charged two rival gang members in California with murder Friday after a three-year-old boy died during a January shootout inside a liquor store in Compton, officials said.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that Dwayne Ward, 30, and Kevaughn Harris, 27, will face murder charges in connection with a shooting that killed three-year-old Franklin Ponros while the two men were shooting at each other.
Ward and Harris also face charges for shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Harris was reportedly walking toward a car parked outside a Compton liquor store on January 20 when he got into a verbal altercation with Ward, who was sitting in a nearby vehicle.
Harris’s girlfriend and three-year-old son were sitting in the car outside the liquor store when Ward and Harris, who were rival gang members, allegedly drew their handguns and fired several rounds at each other, KABC reported.
The stray bullets from the shootout struck Ponros while he was sitting in the back seat of his mother’s car. His mother was unharmed.
KTLA reported that the car was already speeding away when Harris and his girlfriend realized that Ponros had been bleeding from the bullet wounds. They stopped for help at a nearby Mexican restaurant, where a customer dialed 911. Ponros was taken to the hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Authorities arrested Ward on January 22 after he turned himself in, and homicide detectives arrested Harris Wednesday. Ward is being held without bond, and Harris is being held on $2 million bond.
If convicted of murder, Ward and Harris face the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison, the district attorney’s office said.