2 men charged in shooting that killed 5-year-old boy

18-year-old Marcus Denson in blue and 21-year-old Leonard Hall Jr. were booked Friday, November 5, 2010 on suspicion of murdering 5-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr.
18-year-old Marcus Denson in blue and 21-year-old Leonard Hall Jr. were booked Friday, November 5, 2010 on suspicion of murdering 5-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr. Patricia Nazario/KPCC

Two reputed gang members were charged today with the Halloween day killing of a 5-year-old boy who was shot while showing off his Spider-Man costume outside his family's South Los Angeles home.

In addition to murder, Marcus Denson, 18, and Leonard Hall Jr., 21, were each charged with two counts of attempted murder for the Oct. 31 shooting in the 1000 block of East 84th Street. Hall is alleged to have fired the fatal shot, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said Hall and Denson, members of the Kitchen Crips gang, entered rival gang territory on Halloween day and approached the back of a home that opened up into an alley. A group of men were gathered in a backyard where the victim, Aaron Shannon Jr., was running around, showing his father and others his costume, according to police and prosecutors.

Denson and Hall allegedly opened fire on the group, fatally striking the child and injuring the boy's uncle and grandfather, prosecutors said. The neighborhood where the boy lived is an active gang area, but his family had no gang ties, according to police.

The boy died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, according to Deputy District Attorney Larry Droeger of the Hardcore Gang Division. The two wounded men were not seriously injured.

Denson was arrested Thursday, and Hall on Friday. They were both being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

LAPD homicide Detective Eric Crosson of the LAPD's 77th Street Station said the shooting was linked to a gang rivalry between the Kitchen Crips and Swan Bloods.

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