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Teen Fatally Shot Outside LA High School

June 6, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A 17-year-old student was fatally shot in a Venice High School parking lot Monday after he tried to help his brothers in a fight, authorities said.

Augustine Contreras, a junior at Venice High, was taken to a hospital in critical condition where he later died, Officer Mike Lopez said.

Shortly after school let out, Contreras went to the aid of his two brothers, who were involved in a fight with at least five young men, police said. What provoked the fight was unclear.

One of the men was armed with a handgun and shot the boy in the upper torso, Sgt. Lee Sands said.

The suspects, who police said did not appear to be Venice High students, then fled the campus on foot.

Police pursued a young male into the Oakwood area of Venice, a few blocks from the school, and set up a perimeter while searching for him. A young man was briefly retained but released, police said. No arrests were made.

The 40-square-block Oakwood neighborhood, which also lies a short distance from the famous Venice boardwalk, is known for gang violence. The gentrification of Venice has included Oakwood, but the neighborhood’s income levels are still low, Lopez said.

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