Authorities are searching for a suspect who shot and killed a boy in the Florence-Graham neighborhood of South Los Angeles Friday.
JOY BENEDICT: Homicides are on the rise all over Los Angeles County. In fact, if this trend keeps up we are on track to have one of the deadliest years in recent history. But these aren't just statistics, and today it is the family of Jesus Gutierrez, a 17-year-old that is trying to figure out how to move forward.
- It's tragic. It was just two boys crossing the street.
JOY BENEDICT: It's a heart-stopping crime that has this community talking and lighting candles. As a teenager was gunned down while crossing the street in the middle of the afternoon.
- He was just a kid, I mean. It's tragic that people come around and do these kind of things and think that, you know, they can get away with it.
JOY BENEDICT: This woman lives nearby, she doesn't want us to show her face. She wouldn't even tell us her name. As she and so many in neighborhoods like this one are fearful that the next round of violence will be aimed at them.
- Other people pass by and they think that just because there are two kids crossing the street that they're gang members, or, you know. We can't help what the neighborhood is.
JOY BENEDICT: It was on Holmes Avenue near Florence, where high school student Jesus Gutierrez was crossing the street on Friday with his older brother. It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon, when investigators say someone pulled up in this SUV and opened fire. You can see Jesus trying to run away in this security photo. He was hit and later died at a hospital nearby.
- He was just so innocent. He was barely starting to live his life.
JOY BENEDICT: Jesus was a Junior at Simon Rodia High School. He just turned 17. His family is trying to raise enough money to bury him.
- I have a son and he's 12, and he looks like a big boy. Like I'd hate for him to be coming to the bakery and somebody passing by and mistake him for someone else and shoot him.
JOY BENEDICT: The LA County Sheriff's Department has investigated 108 murders already this year. That's a 111% increase from this time last year. But these aren't just numbers. They are fathers and mothers and sons like Jesus Gutierrez who had his future stolen.
- You can't just go around killing people, taking innocent lives.
JOY BENEDICT: Despite having one person in custody, investigators tell me they are still looking into this case. So if you know anything about this shooting your urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Joy Benedict, CBS2 News.