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Willowbrook rolls after fatal shots



The Willowbrook community struggled Saturday with the aftermath of deadly back shots: one involved the deputy shooting of a black man Friday afternoon, and the other involved two teenage boys found shot dead after a car accident the night before.

When sheriff detectives in Los Angeles County investigated the shooting, tensions ran high among many residents in the area who struggled to cope with the outbreak of violent crime in their neighborhood southeast of downtown.

During the day Saturday, dozens of people gathered at a memorial for candles and rap music across the street from normally quiet Mona Park and a neighborhood fence where Fred Williams III, 25, was shot and killed by a sheriff̵

7;s deputy after a brief chase.

Among them was Sandy Hendrix, 57, a neighbor who had known Williams since he was a young boy.

She nodded toward the park playground and tried not to cry, and she recalled, “I used to push him on the swing right over there. He loved it, and so did I. I never dreamed he would one day be shot dead by the police less than a block away from that swing set. ”

Another was Lisa Smith, 52, a witness who referred to Williams as “my baby.”

“Many of us were just chilling in the parking lot when deputies rolled up in a team car,” she said. Assuming their arrival spelled trouble for the group, she said, “we started running.”

“A policeman started running after Fred, and seconds later Fred disappeared around a corner,” she recalled. “Then I heard four shots. Pop, pop, pop, pop. ”

Sheriff’s officials say deputies were conducting a routine patrol of Mona Park when they noticed a group of 10 to 15 people, one of whom “had a firearm in his hand.”

“When the suspect saw the deputies,” a spokesman for the department said, “he immediately ran out of the parking lot to the south.”

“One of the deputies pursued the suspect down a driveway and into the backyard of an uninvolved residence,” he said. “The suspect then engaged the deputy by pointing his firearm at him, at which point the deputy involved fired.”

Williams died on the spot, authorities said. A semi-automatic pistol was later recovered on the spot by homicide investigators.

In a nearby house where Williams had lived, his father, Fred Williams Jr., 44, strangled over an unanswered question: Why would not detectives explain to him the circumstances that led to the fatal shooting of his son?

“All they want to tell me is that my son was shot once in the shoulder,” he said, his eyes filled with tears. “Was he shot in the front or in the back?” I do not know. They do not tell me that. ”

His son was released from prison a month ago after serving time for a robbery offense, relatives said. He was looking forward to starting a new job as a security guard on Tuesday.

Williams’ father is not happy with the sheriff’s explanation.

“I have been put in and out of the back seat of police cars since I was 12,” he said. “What else do you need to know?”

“We are being killed by the police,” he added. “The big question is this: When does it stop?”

The problem in Willowbrook started around noon. 23 Thursday in the 12200 block of Maple Avenue when the two male teens were shot and killed while driving down a street in search of an address, according to the sheriff’s department.

The victims were among five teenagers in the car when an attacker approached them and opened fire, authorities said.

The car slammed into a vehicle parked at the intersection of Maple Avenue and East 124th Riddle. Deputies who responded found two teenagers in the front seats dead on the spot. Three teenagers in the back were unharmed, authorities said.

“The car appears to have been shot several times,” said Sheriff Lieutenant Brandon Dean, and “both decedents appear to have been shot several times in the upper body.”

The victims were identified by family members as Millyon Colquitt, 16, and Jamele Hill, 17. Colquitt was an 11thdegrees at Centennial High School, and Hill was a senior at Gardena High School.




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