LAUSD Defends Secrecy Over MS-13 Murders Linked to School
Earlier this month, authorities announced a 12-count indictment against 22 members of the transnational MS-13 gang. It includes accusations of sadistic murders carried out across the Los Angeles area.
It was the unsealing of that indictment that first alerted parents at Panorama High School that MS-13 had established a deadly presence on campus.
In 2017, authorities say Panorama High School student Brayan Andino was lured to a nearby park by two female schoolmates and killed. Two former students of the school linked to MS-13 are also suspected of killing a youth from Cal Burke High School, an alternative program on the Panorama High campus.
All of this was going on under parents’ noses. Few had a clue. Now, the L.A. Unified School District is defending its secrecy, which it says was requested by law enforcement to maintain the investigation’s integrity.
“In situations like these, we rely on the best judgment of the law enforcement experts who are working to uncover the truth and bring perpetrators to justice,” said school board member Kelly Gonez (Los Angeles Times). “The best way to ensure the safety of our students, staff and families at Panorama High School and the broader community is to ensure that these violent criminals are arrested and put in jail.”
The extent of the problem is still unknown. LAUSD denies there is an MS-13 clique operating out of Panorama High School, but authorities will not confirm how many suspected gang members are enrolled at the school or otherwise linked to students. All of that has made for a community and a student body on edge.
Panorama High isn’t alone. Much of the San Fernando Valley has been roiled by the killings outlined in the recent indictment. The crimes were perpetrated by the group’s Fulton clique, which is based out of North Hollywood.
Despite the uniquely brutal murders, L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck has said MS-13’s influence in the region is waning and that the gang is not even among the five most active in Los Angeles today.