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Girl with Myspace gang links killed

Saturday Dec 1 12:00 AEDT




By Henri Paget



This is Auralia Cisneros flashing a gang sign with her mother.


The 10-year-old is now dead after a shootout in her family's Denver apartment Monday night.


The image is one of several gang and drug-related images featured on her parents' Myspace pages, which have been heavily examined following the girl's death.



US reports claim a gang member knocked on their apartment door Monday and said "Wassup homey" before turning a gun on the family.


A shootout ensued between Auralia's parents and the assailant, with the 10-year-old killed during the exchange.


While the motive for the killing is still unclear, the incident highlights the potential real-world dangers of promoting gang affiliation online.


"Its quite possible in this case that someone had seen the photographs and chose to take revenge on the young girl," US gang expert Robert Walker told ninemsn.


"Some gangs take an oath that if they ever come face to face with a rival they will attack them.


"I wouldn't put any affiliation to gangs online. You never know how a person from a rival gang will react."


It has not yet been confirmed whether the "W" gang-sign Auralia and her mother are waving in the image represents affiliation with a real Denver gang, but Mr Walker says it's likely.


"Using four fingers of either hand to make a 'W' is a common gang sign," said Mr Walker, who runs the gang research website Gangs Or Us.


"It usually means 'West Side', but there are several other gangs it can represent."


The Myspace page of Auralia's mother, Amanda Salas, also features a photo of her husband brandishing what appears to be a semi-automatic pistol.


Salas dismissed the Myspace controversy during a brief conversation with Rocky Mountain News.


"It's okay, it's just people's opinions," she said. "It's just a Myspace page."


But Rev. Leon Kelly, the executive director of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, said the websites suggested Auralia was being brought up in a dangerous environment.


"You want to be sympathetic to the (family's) grief, but I think some of the grief and sorrow is maybe because of the activity and the lifestyle older people were living that caused this tragedy to happen."


Auralia died of a gunshot wound to the head. Police have not yet been able to determine who fired the fatal shot, due to the number of bullets fired in the apartment.


Police say they are hunting two suspects in relation to the shooting, with one described as a Latino man in his early 20s, about 165cm tall.





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