Drive-by shooting leaves 9-year-old dead in Oklahoma City

Wednesday, August 11th 2004, 12:01 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A 9-year-old boy was killed and two teenagers were wounded in a gang-related drive-by shooting.

David Pekah was pronounced dead at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center after being shot in the arm and chest while he slept on a couch in his family's northwest Oklahoma City home.

Relatives said Cecilia Castillo, 19, was shot in the neck and shoulder and Tsiannina Barnett, 19, was struck in the foot Wednesday morning, just after midnight.

Three teenagers -- Carlos Marquez, 19; Steve Lopez, 17; and Salvador Martinez, 16 -- were being held on murder complaints Wednesday in the Oklahoma County jail. They were arrested after officers stopped a car matching one described by witnesses to the shooting, police said.

Pekah's mother, Margie Diaz, said her house has been shot at two other times in the past six months, including once last week. One of her other sons is a member of the Juaritos, one of the three largest gangs in the city. Her fence and porch have Juaritos symbols in graffiti.

Police said the suspects are members of another gang, the South Side Locos.

"Without going into specifics," said Lt. Greg Taylor of the Oklahoma City police gang unit, "it's going to be gang-related, an ongoing feud between two rival gangs."

James McSpadden, Pekah's adult brother who was visiting from Florida, said he and a friend, Steven Martin, heard gunshots and started pushing everyone onto the floor. The two men went outside and saw a black car approaching. More shots were being fired from the car, McSpadden said.

Bullets went through the front window and a brick wall. The men went back inside, where family members were focused on Castillo's injury. No one noticed at first that Pekah wasn't moving.

Diaz said her son didn't deserve to die.

"He's a good baby," she said. "He was getting ready to go to school. That's all he talked about. ... My baby had his whole life ahead of him.