"A man got to have a code" - Omar Little
The adult gang member who shot Tavin Price, had no code. If he did, he wouldn't have shot a 4-foot, 10 inch, 100-pound, 19-year-old intellectually disabled man in front of his mother. But, this man - now wanted methodically by the police, wanted revengefully by some members from his own set and wanted most passionately by the heartbroken mother - did just that to Price two weeks ago at a car wash on Florence Avenue near Crenshaw Boulevard.
Street sources say the shooter was urged to kill Tavin by another gang member who had lost a fist fight (aka "fade") to a family member of Price's a month or so ago. Using Price's red sneakers as a pretext, the instigator told his accomplice that Price was from a local rival gang, sources said. The two, said to be affiliated with the Rollin' 60s, demanded the "red Chucks" ( Chuck Taylor Converse tennis shoes) and when the confused Price headed to his mom who was cleaning her car, he was shot at least three times.
"Mommy, I don't want to die," were his last words.
Tavin's mother, Jennifer Rivers said "The coward who killed my son disrespected every mother in the world."
Condemnation for the attack was universal on the streets, too Here is a smattering of comments.
"In front of his moms?!"
"Boy, was like four feet something, Couldn't he go toe-to toe with him? Coward."
"Why the coward have to shoot him? And in front of his mother? Man, sock him, if you got to, He had to be the biggest coward."
"It's an embarrassment for the Sixties, if he really from Sixties."
"Someone that small and you got to put heat on him? That's some cowardly shit. A fuckin' embarrassment."
Last week, some Rollin' 60s, who the LAPD say have 1,200 members, expressed their sympathies to the family.
"Some of the guys from 60s, they knew Tavin and they said this was a totally senseless killing," said Tavin's sisters Runisha. "Tavin was stylish and walked around he neighborhood, but he wouldn't hurt a flea. Everyone around here knew that."
Sister Runisha thought about the person who killed him.
"Whoever shot my brother if he was trying to get some brownie points for his gang, instead, he lost his entire soul."
Meanwhile, the family and friends of Tavin, after hosting a viewing of his body, marched in his memory down Crenshaw to the site of his killing in front of the Express Car Wash on Florence.
There were about 60 people along the march. There were no so-called national black leaders there. There was no national media. CNN and Wolf Blitzer didn't have 'man on the street" reporters there. There wasn't even any local media there. The mayor wasn't there. Tavin Price wasn't much in the way of news. Just a short, mentally-handicapped, young black man gunned down by another black man.
Everybody, black and white, gets all up in arms and marches in unity when a cop kills a black man. But, it appears it's okay with everybody - everybody except the family and friends of the victim, everybody except the homicide detectives - when people kill their own.
Funeral service for Tavin Price will be held Saturday, June 13 at 1 p..m at Angelus Funeral Home at 3875 S. Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif, 90008.
If anyone would like to help the family with the burial costs, check this site - http://www.gofundme.com/w3u5ag
Anyone with information on the homicide can call Det. Eric Crosson of LAPD's Crinimal Gang Homicide Division at (323) 786-5100.