09/30/2007

'Hybrid gang' violence sweeping nation

By Francisca Ortega and Valeria Calderoni
Inside Bay Area

LAS VEGAS In May 2005, gang members opened fire on each other from opposite sides of the Las Vegas Strip, wounding three innocent bystanders. Months later, a 16-year-old gang banger trying to make a name for himself, shot three people in four days. Last year, gang members yelling Squad-Up the name of their group opened fire in a gated community.

A new breed of street gangs has arrived in Las Vegas and cities across the nation, with violent results. Squad-Up, one of the newest Las Vegas gangs, was formed by smaller gangs, some of them rivals, which banded together to form a larger hybrid gang. These new gang members are young and especially profit driven. They are, as one law-enforcement officer calls them, Gangsters 2000.

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