'Nothing can hurt Spider-Man' and then a deadly gunshot in South L.A.

'Nothing can hurt Spider-Man' and then a deadly gunshot in South L.A.

Aaron Shannon Jr., 5, was killed on Halloween in an alleged gang reprisal. 'It's not going to stop,' his father says. 'This is the way people were brought up.'
November 06, 2010|By Scott Gold, Los Angeles TimesAaron Shannon Jr. was a bumblebee last year for Halloween. His family didn't have much money for a new costume, but his grandfather figured no self-respecting 5-year-old boy could be a bumblebee two years in a row — not this boy, anyway.

Bright and precocious, Aaron was treated like the mayor in his corner of South L.A. He shook so many hands and hugged so many teachers that it could take an hour just to pick him from up from school, where he had been in kindergarten for all of a few months. Adults marveled at his ability to hold his own in grownup conversations. He was an old soul and he was old-school — often coming up with silky dance moves while singing along with the Temptations.


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FOR THE RECORD:
Halloween shooting: An article in the Nov. 6 Section A about the shooting of a 5-year-old boy in South Los Angeles said that the boy, Aaron Shannon Jr., died when he was shot on Halloween 20 minutes after donning his Spider-Man costume. As indicated later in the article, his death did not occur until the following day. —

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He was not a bumblebee, so his grandfather showed up with a Spider-Man costume on Sunday, Halloween. "I've never seen him so excited," 55-year-old William Shannon said.

Aaron tried it on, flexed his fake muscles and pretended to fire spider webs at his uncle. Then he dashed around the backyard of his house on East 84th Street. His grandfather tried to slow him down, but Aaron took a spill. He popped up, summoning as much bravery as he could, but soon whispered to his grandfather: "I hurt my hand."

"I told him: 'You'll be all right," William Shannon recalled. "'Nothing can hurt Spider-Man."

Twenty minutes later, Aaron was dead.

A bullet fired from the alley behind his house hit Aaron in the head. Aaron's uncle and grandfather were wounded.

On Friday, authorities announced the arrest of two alleged gang members in connection with the shooting. Marcus Denson, 18, and Leonard Hall Jr., 21 are both suspected members of the Kitchen Crips gang, Deputy Police Chief Pat Gannon said. Denson and Hall were booked on murder charges and were each being held on $1-million bond.

Gannon said the suspects crossed into a rival gang's territory looking for someone — anyone — to shoot as payback for a shooting earlier this year.

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