Thursday, December 08, 2005

I've been wanting to get to this for some time, but there wasn't enough information to get a clear picture. Recently, it got a little clearer. This incident illustrates one of the many weird dynamics of life in the hood.

On February 24, 2004, ALFRED "LIL TIGGER" SALINAS was shot and killed in front of his house. The man eventually prosecuted and convicted of the crime was FRANK "POPS" GUTTIEREZ. What makes this shooting noteworthy is that the shooter and the victim had been friends since childhood. Tragically, this isn't a unique incident.

According to court testimony, Lil Tigger was approaching his house on the night of the the 29th when he was ambushed by Pops Guttierez. Pops fired a few rounds at Lil Tigger from his car but missed. Lil Tigger ran towards his front door and Pops followed. Hearing the shots, Lil's mom came out of the house and actually got between Pops and her son. Pops continued blazing away and apparently shot and killed Lil Tigger while firing over Lil's mom's head.

With a powerful eyewitness like Lil's mom on the stand, it was pretty much a slam dunk for the prosecution. She had no trouble identifying Pops because the two kids grew up together and Pops was a regular visitor to the house. They played football together and by all accounts they were tight. But as happens often on the streets, they went separate ways. Pops went Highland Park and Lil followed his father's footsteps into Avenues and was putting in work for that neighborhood.

What Pops did was nothing less than a suicide run. It's unknown who lit the fire under Pops to take Lil out, or why, but it must have been a big fire. What a waste of two lives.

Lil Tigger's father is Tigger Salinas, a validated brother who was convicted of killing his girlfriend Sofia Gomez in 2002 after they got into a fight and she threw a beer in his face.

In another ironic twist, and something that foreshadowed his own murder, Lil Tigger got between Frankie "Stretch" Brajas and another homie in a fight at a barbecue about a year before Lil was killed. Showing a lot of heart, Lil took a bullet in the stomach protecting Stretch but wasn't able to keep Stretch from being pursued and shot in the back and killed.