Los Angeles: With the capture of LAPD's first Top-10 Most Wanted gang member on February 21, Police Chief William Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today the name of the next local gang member to be added to the list.
Fernando Araujo, 19, is a member of the Canoga Park Alabama (CPA) criminal street gang in the San Fernando Valley. An arrest warrant for attempted murder was issued for him after he was implicated in the August 26, 2006, drive-by shooting of an 18-year-old college football player, who was standing outside a youth center near Deering Avenue and Gault Street. Araujo is also implicated in a second drive-by shooting from August, and is wanted as a material witness in a third shooting.
Detectives believe Araujo was one of several gang members in the car that sped by and fired. Detectives believe the gang targeted the football player because he is Black. Witnesses reported hearing a racial slur uttered as the shooting took place. The CPA gang has garnered a reputation for targeting its victims based on race. Ten shootings in the last six months have been attributed to the CPA gang; all ten victims were Black. Six arrests have been made in four of the shootings.
The cars used in the August 26 drive-by shooting were a 1990s, white Mazda and a tan Ford Explorer.
Araujo is short and thin, with black hair and brown eyes. The bail on the warrant was set at $3,050,000.
Members of the community are encouraged to call their local police station or the LAPD's toll-free number with information about local gang activity. The City Council has authorized up to $50,000 as a reward for information that leads to the capture of any of the Top-10 Most Wanted Gang Members. The LAPD's toll-free number is 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).
Persons with information about Fernando Araujo may contact the West Valley Area gang unit at 818-374-7870. Callers may remain anonymous.