Four suspected gang members charged in slaying of 1-year-old Autumn Johnson, shot in her crib in Compton

Prosecutors have charged four suspected gang members in connection with the 2016 killing of 1-year-old Autumn Johnson,

After more than a year and a half, authorities have charged four suspected gang members in connection with the 2016 killing of a 1-year-old girl who was shot in her crib in Compton, officials said Wednesday.

The four suspects in the Feb. 9 killing of Autumn Johnson in the 300 block of North Holly Avenue have all been taken into custody or were already incarcerated, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Davion Douglas, 27, Denzel Hull, 25, and Ronzay Richards, 24, have each been charged with murder and attempted murder, officials said.

Ray Patterson, 24, who was arrested on suspicion of murder last year but then released, has now been charged with being an accessory to murder, officials said.

Hull, who is already incarcerated on an unrelated burglary charge, was also charged with attempted murder in an unrelated incident in Compton about a month after Autumn was killed, Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said. Douglas and Patterson are also already incarcerated; Richards was taken into custody Wednesday, authorities said.

The case made national headlines last year as the city struggled to combat gang violence. In 2016, 33 people were killed, the most since 2013, when 39 people were killed.

Jeffery Wandick, Autumn’s grandfather, said sheriff’s detectives were diligent in investigating the child’s killing.

“They never stopped looking,” he said. “This case never went cold.”

Wandick said he still lives in the neighborhood, which has quieted considerably since Autumn was slain.

“That touched everybody,” he said. “She was innocent. She had nothing to do at all with any of this stuff.”

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 1 Cindy Chang

The father cradled his 1-year-old daughter in his arms, screaming: "My baby's been shot! My baby's been shot!"

The little girl had a grievous head wound. She was ominously still, not moving or crying.

The sheriff's deputies didn't know how far behind the paramedics were. They decided to take her...

The father cradled his 1-year-old daughter in his arms, screaming: "My baby's been shot! My baby's been shot!"

The little girl had a grievous head wound. She was ominously still, not moving or crying.

The sheriff's deputies didn't know how far behind the paramedics were. They decided to take her...

(Cindy Chang)

Originally, authorities said the gunman was aiming for Autumn’s father, but Corina said Wednesday that the gunman appeared to be targeting another man who was standing in front of the residence. Corina said the suspects are all from a rival gang’s neighborhood.

Cracking the case took “a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck,” Corina said.

“Gang cases are hard to solve,” he said. “A lot of people don’t want to get involved or say anything.”

That night, about 7 p.m., Autumn’s mother, Blanche Wandick, was preparing her daughter a bottle. Autumn was standing in her crib when she was shot in the head.

Sheriff’s officials said at the time that a gunman got out of a blue Chevrolet Impala, walked toward the home and fired toward the garage. The gunman then got back into the car, which was seen heading south on North Holly Avenue.

Autumn’s father cradled his daughter in his arms, shouting, “My baby’s been shot! My baby’s been shot!” Deputies who responded to the shooting took Autumn to the hospital themselves rather than wait for paramedics; her father rode in the backseat with her.

Autumn, described by a family member as “the center of attention and joy,” had only recently learned to walk. A tiny baby at birth, she was called “Minnie” by family. She had just celebrated her first birthday with cake — with yellow and pink frosting — and Minnie Mouse balloons.

“Her smile would make you feel so good inside,” Marques Slaughter, the child’s uncle, previously told The Times.

After the killing, officials announced a $75,000 reward for information leading to the suspect or suspects. Corina said that it was not the reward but detective and police work that led to the arrest.

Authorities had to track people down and get them to talk, he said.

Blanche Wandick was pregnant when Autumn was killed. Her son is now 18 months old, her father said.

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 2 CAPTION

Body camera footage from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department taken during the shooting on Oct. 1.

Body camera footage from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department taken during the shooting on Oct. 1.

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 3 CAPTION

Body camera footage from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department taken during the shooting on Oct. 1.

Body camera footage from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department taken during the shooting on Oct. 1.

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 4 CAPTION

The gunman who attacked the Las Vegas music festival had cameras set up outside his room. Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday, after Hurricane Maria swept through the island two weeks ago. Three billion Yahoo accounts were affected by a massive data breach — three times as many as initially reported. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three researchers for their work on electron microscopy.

Credits: EPA, Getty, Hillary Guzik, KTLA, Sarya Stukes

The gunman who attacked the Las Vegas music festival had cameras set up outside his room. Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday, after Hurricane Maria swept through the island two weeks ago. Three billion Yahoo accounts were affected by a massive data breach — three times as many as initially reported. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three researchers for their work on electron microscopy.

Credits: EPA, Getty, Hillary Guzik, KTLA, Sarya Stukes

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 5 CAPTION

At least 50 are dead and 200 injured after a shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Heartbreakers frontman Tom Petty died Monday at 66. Portraits are emerging of those killed in Las Vegas. L.A. decriminalized sidewalk vending to protect immigrants from deportation. 

Credits: Getty / KTLA

At least 50 are dead and 200 injured after a shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Heartbreakers frontman Tom Petty died Monday at 66. Portraits are emerging of those killed in Las Vegas. L.A. decriminalized sidewalk vending to protect immigrants from deportation. 

Credits: Getty / KTLA

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 6 CAPTION

President Trump comments on the cost of the Puerto Rico response after the country was hit by Hurricane Maria.

President Trump comments on the cost of the Puerto Rico response after the country was hit by Hurricane Maria.

four-suspected-gang-members-charged-in-slaying-of-1yearold-autumn-johnson-shot-in-her-crib-in-compton photo 7 CAPTION

Musician Tom Petty died Monday after being rushed to the hospital after a cardiac arrest. He was 66.

Musician Tom Petty died Monday after being rushed to the hospital after a cardiac arrest. He was 66.

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

For more news on crime in Southern California, follow me on Twitter: @NicoleSantaCruz.

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UPDATES:

8:30 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information about the suspects.

4:20 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from the girl’s grandfather and a sheriff’s lieutenant.

1:50 p.m.: This article was updated with background about the killing.

This article was originally published at 1:45 p.m.

A previous version of this article misspelled Hull's last name as Hall. Also, the earlier version said Patterson was taken into custody Wednesday; it was Richards.

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Article Four suspected gang members charged in slaying of 1-year-old Autumn Johnson, shot in her crib in Compton compiled by www.latimes.com