One year after the beating deaths of two teenagers shook the Brentwood community, friends and family gathered to light candles and recall the loss of the two best friends in what authorities say were senseless gang-related murders.
About 75 people gathered Wednesday night near Ray Court, where the body of Nisa Mickens, 15, was found, 24 hours after that of Kayla Cuevas, 16, was uncovered nearby. Both girls, police say, had been brutally assaulted by MS-13 gang members who went hunting for rival gang members and happened to encounter the two.
For Robert Mickens, the father of Nisa, the place where his daughter was discovered is hallowed ground. That night, he recalled, he went to pick up his daughter at Cuevas’ house and when he couldn’t find her, drove around until he saw detectives at a crime scene. There, his world fell apart when he realized the clothes police said were worn by the victim matched those his daughter had on that night.
“When somebody takes it upon themselves to do God’s job, it hurts…And to basically have a peer do this to her, to Kayla to the other four gentlemen, it’s not right,” Mickens said, referring to victims of gang violence that terrorized the community last year.
A memorial was placed on a patch of grass on the…
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