HARBOR CITY, Calif. (FOX 11) - A San Pedro High School baseball player was the innocent victim of a gang initiation.
Instead of being on the baseball diamond with his teammates Tuesday, Evan Jimenez was in the hospital, recovering from a brutal beating at the hands of gang members.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department confirmed the beating Thursday night in San Pedro was a gang initiation.
"I just can't believe that it happened to one of our own," said Monica Burnham, a San Pedro High parent. Burnham's son is Jimenez's friend and fellow teammate.
Jimenez is a pitcher for San Pedro Senior High. The sheriff's department said the 15-year-old is not affiliated with gangs.
"Not one kid on the team has that lifestyle, is involved in any kind of activity like that, so this is eye opening for them," said Burnham. "They don't know that world so they have no idea what happened. They're still in shock. Everybody's in shock."
The beating happened in an alley in San Pedro. On Tuesday, there were fliers posted in the alley, reminding people what happened and asking for information on the two attackers who are still on the loose.
The sheriff's department said they were likely trying to join a gang called Rancho San Pedro.
The teen's beating has put the entire team on alert. Parents and grandparents told FOX 11 they're asking their kids to be careful.
"I told him to stay out of the alleys and go with people," said Ronnie Rivas, a player's grandfather.
Jimenez remained at Habor UCLA Tuesday in stable but serious condition.
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