Chilling photos of kids with guns found

SINGAPORE - She was dressed in Disney pyjamas and aiming an assault rifle at the camera.

That was just one of the photos of children holding weapons which police found during a raid in Los Angeles.

A girl is seen holding a revolver in another, reported Daily Mail.

The pictures were uncovered by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers during Thursday's sweep of areas in southern Los Angeles, said to be the domain of the Rollin' 30s Harlem Crips gang.

The group is one of the city's 10 most notorious gangs, with about 700 to 1,000 members, officials said.

It is involved in serious crimes such as drug trafficking, gun running and robbery, and its illegal activities yields millions yearly.

Over 30 of its members were nabbed in Thursday's Operation Thumbs Down, an investigation initiated last year to target the Rollin' 30s Harlem Crips.

The gang was also thought to be involved in 29 murders that have occurred in its territory over the past five years, The Los Angeles Times reported.

FBI official Laura Eimiller said the shocking pictures of the children were obtained from the mobile phones and social media sites of the busted gang members.

"Clearly, there's no good reason to put a firearm in the hands of a child. It's an indication of the violent nature of the gang and the impact of its gang members," she said.

In the same vein, LAPD's Commander Bill Scott said: "It's a culture of violence.

"When you grow up in a culture like that, violence becomes secondary. It becomes second nature.

"And that's the cycle we're trying to disrupt."

Since the investigation began, 32 guns and more than 10kg of cocaine have been seized, the FBI said.

Authorities also said that the gang's reach is gradually extending beyond South Los Angeles, Daily Mail reported.

"So they're not only preying on their local community, they're starting to spread out and prey on different areas of Los Angeles, an FBI agent said.

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