Willowbrook reeling after deadly shootings

The neighborhood of Willowbrook on Saturday was grappling with the aftermath of back-to-back lethal shootings: one involving the deputy taking pictures of a Black man on Friday afternoon, and the opposite involving two teenage boys discovered shot to dying after a automotive crash the evening earlier than.

As Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives investigated the shootings, tensions ran excessive amongst many space residents who struggled to deal with the nervousness over the burst of violent crime of their neighborhood southeast of downtown.

All through the day Saturday, dozens of individuals gathered at a curbside memorial of candles and rap music throughout the road from normally placid Mona Park and a neighborhood fence the place Fred Williams III, 25, was allegedly shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy after a quick chase.

Amongst them was Sandy Hendrix, 57, a neighbor who had recognized Williams since he was a younger boy.

Nodding towards the park playground and attempting to not cry, she recalled, “I used to push him on the swing proper over there. He beloved that, and so did I. I by no means dreamed that he would someday be fatally shot by police lower than a block away from that swing set.”

One other was Lisa Smith, 52, a witness who referred to Williams as “my child.”

“Lots of us had been simply chilling within the park parking zone when deputies rolled up in a squad automotive,” she stated. Assuming their arrival spelled hassle for the group, she stated, “we began working.”

“A policeman began working on foot after Fred and, seconds later, Fred disappeared round a nook,” she recalled. “Then I heard 4 pictures. Pop, pop, pop, pop.”

Sheriff’s officers say deputies had been conducting a routine patrol test of Mona Park once they observed a gaggle of 10 to 15 folks, one in every of whom “was holding a firearm in his hand.”

“When the suspect noticed the deputies,” a spokesman for the division stated, “he instantly ran out of the parking zone headed south.”

“One of many deputies chased the suspect down a driveway and into the yard of an uninvolved residence,” he stated. “The suspect then engaged the deputy by pointing his firearm at him at which level the deputy concerned taking pictures occurred.”

Williams died on the scene, authorities stated. A semi-automatic handgun was later recovered on the scene by murder investigators.

At a close-by home the place Williams had been residing, his father, Fred Williams Jr., 44, anguished over an unanswered query: Why wouldn’t detectives clarify to him the circumstances that led to the deadly taking pictures of his son?

“All they may inform me is that my son was shot as soon as within the shoulder,” he stated, his eyes stuffed with tears. “Was he shot within the entrance or the again? I have no idea. They gained’t inform me.”

His son had been launched from jail a month in the past after serving time for a theft conviction, family members stated. He was wanting ahead to beginning a brand new job as a safety guard on Tuesday.

Williams’ father will not be glad with the sheriff’s clarification.

“I’ve been put out and in of the again seat of police automobiles since I used to be 12 years previous,” he stated. “What else do it’s good to know?”

“We’re getting killed by police,” he added. “The massive query is that this: When will it cease?”

The difficulty in Willowbrook began at about 11 p.m. Thursday within the 12200 block of Maple Avenue, when the 2 male teenagers had been shot and killed whereas driving down a avenue looking for an deal with, based on the sheriff’s division.

The victims had been amongst 5 teenagers within the automotive when an assailant approached them and opened fireplace, authorities stated.

The automotive slammed right into a car parked on the intersection of Maple Avenue and East 124th Avenue. Deputies who responded discovered two teenagers within the entrance seats useless on the scene. Three teenagers within the again had been unhurt, authorities stated.

“The automotive seems to have been shot a number of instances,” stated Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean, and “each decedents seem to have been shot a number of instances within the higher torso.”

The victims had been recognized by members of the family as Millyon Colquitt, 16, and Jamele Hill, 17. Colquitt was an 11th-grader at Centennial Excessive Faculty, and Hill was a senior at Gardena Excessive Faculty.