HYDE PARK (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones of a teen gunned down at a car wash were remembering the life of Tavin Price, who would have turned 20 Monday.
Price’s mother, Jennifer Rivers, says around 11 a.m. Friday, she and her son were at a car wash on Florence and 11th avenues while he stepped away to the store to pick up a few items.
It was then, she says, that a man confronted him about his red shoelaces and his red shirt.
Price told the man he wasn’t a gang member and left to return to his mother.
“All of the sudden I heard ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.’ They already ran up on my son and shot him in the back.
“It’s hard on me. All I can see is my son’s eyes rolling to the back of his head, grabbing my arm right here saying, ‘Mommy, I don’t want to die. Mommy, please don’t let me die,’ ” Rivers recalls.
She and others gathered lit candles and shared hugs Monday night in front of the car wash where Price, who was mentally challenged, was killed.
“For them just to gun my son down like that in front of my face, I just want them to catch this guy,” Rivers said.
Detective Eric Crosson of the LAPD said the incident at this point appears to be gang-motivated.
“But as I said, the victim is not a gang member. He never has been a gang member,” Crosson said.
Christopher Washington, a cousin of the victim, remembered Price as funny and outgoing.
“You are ruthless. Hateful,” Rivers said of her son’s killer. “I don’t know what to say about you, but I just pray to God that they catch you.”
Homicide detectives say they’re reviewing several hours’ worth of security footage for clues and asked any witnesses to come forward.