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|Founding location||Compton, California, United States|
|Ethnicity||Primarily African American, Samoan|
|Criminal activities||Murder, drug trafficking, robbery, extortion|
|Rivals||Sureños, 18th Street Gang, MS13, Crips|
The Pirus or Piru Street Family are a Los Angeles, California, area street gang alliance based in Compton which spread to Carson, Inglewood, and Watts. Piru sets make up most of the original Blood gang alliance in Los Angeles.
In the 1960s, the Pirus were known as a "set." At that time, there were various "sets" throughout the region of Los Angeles, California. However, these "sets" were small groups of "hustlers." In 1969, fifteen-year-old Raymond Washington started the Crips (originally called the Cribs) street gang with ten friends from his neighborhood on the East Side of South Central Los Angeles. The Crips began to attack hustler groups and cliques in order to create a larger organization.
In 1971, the Pirus retaliated against the Crips. Initially, they fought by use of fists, but it escalated to the use of guns and knives. In 1975, Lyle "Bartender" Joseph Thomas, an original leader of the Pirus, was shot by Crips. As a result, The Brims, a local set, joined the Pirus and they wore red bandanas. Together, they formed the new Blood Alliance.
Original formation of the Pirus
In Compton, California, Washington approached the Piru Street Family in 1971 and the gang changed their name to the Piru Street Crips. The Pirus, however, were arch enemies of the gang that would become the Compton Crips, led by a teenager named Mac Thomas. According to Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, Mac Thomas and the Compton Crips were unhappy about Raymond Washington recruiting their arch rivals. According to Tookie Williams, Mac Thomas had even complained about Raymond Washington showing the Pirus the Compton Crips' turf including their personal hangouts. At one time the Pirus were a part of the Crips before they broke off from the Crips and became some of the first gangs within the Bloods. Recently large numbers of Pirus sets are becoming disenfranchised with the Bloods and are steadily becoming their own gang. This is further noted with some Pirus fighting other Blood sets and even those who are Pirus such as Fruit Town Pirus are enemies towards Tree Top Pirus and Mob Pirus, both loyal to the Bloods alliance rather than becoming their own gang.