HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Wednesday announced they have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of a Hawthorne father Wednesday morning.

Victim Azzaam Stallsworth, 31, was riding in a car with his girlfriend when they were fired on by an assailant behind a South Bay church.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies said they made an arrest Wednesday around 3:30 p.m. Late Wednesday, detectives said they have arrested Dante’ Bay McNeil, 22, of Gardena. His bail has been set at $1 million.

The victim’s girlfriend was not hit.

Homicide detectives determined that McNeil had a prior relationship with Stallworth’s girlfriend.

Hawthorne police responded to the crime scene just after 1 a.m. near the Igelsia Cristo es la Roca Inc., located in the 12600 block of Prairie Avenue, officials said.

According to authorities, the victim was driving down the alley when he came across the suspect.

“The suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim. The victim drove forward several feet before crashing into a wrought iron gate and coming to a stop,” Dep. Amber Smith said.

KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reported from the crime scene.

Fajardo said family was understandably inconsolable — they had not yet learned of the arrest.

“I can’t believe it,” said one friend, who identified himself as Seven, “I’m just sick.”

The victim leaves behind a daughter, about 3-year-old.

“The suspect drove away in a dark colored SUV,” Dep. Smith added.

Stallsworth was transported to Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he later died.

Family told Fajardo Stallworth and his girlfriend were returning home from a late movie at the time of the shooting.

Seven told Fajardo that he and Stallsworth played football together at West LA College. Stallsworth went on to play for SUNY Buffalo. The school issued a press release Wednesday afternoon expressing their condolences to his family.

“He was my boy,” said Seven, “He was always there for me.”

Stallsworth was managing music artists for a record company he helped start. Sheriff’s detectives who made the arrest said they tracked suspect McNeil to a recording studio in Lawndale.


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