August 25, 2009

Star high school RB charged in shootings

A star running back for a Los Angeles-area high school has been arrested on attempted murder charges in a gang-related, drive-by shooting, police said.

Jerry Stone, 17, one of the top high school running backs in California, was allegedly driving the vehicle from which shots were fired Friday afternoon in Compton, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said prosecutors want to try Stone as an adult on two counts of attempted murder and other charges, including permitting another to shoot from a vehicle and permitting a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Nobody was injured in the shootings, police said.

Stone gained 1,450 rushing yards and scored 18 touchdowns for Lakewood High School last year. Lakewood was knocked out of last year's playoffs by rival Long Beach Poly.

Lakewood Coach Thadd MacNeal said Stone would not play for the team this season.

The Times said the investigation is being handled by Operation Safe Streets, an anti-gang unit, and, according to sources, involves a Compton gang.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Stone forced his team to forfeit four games last year because he was academically ineligible.

MacNeal said the loss of Stone left his players shaken.

Kids are pretty resilient, but they love Jerry and they're saddened by it, MacNeal said. At the same time, I know they're excited about their own season, and it gives opportunities for others to have a chance to contribute.