A gang member convicted of killing a college football player and wounding two other people in shootings less than 1 1/2 months apart in the spring of 2012 was sentenced Tuesday to 173 years to life in state prison.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 25, of Long Beach, was convicted Feb. 27 of one count each of second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle, along with four counts of attempted murder. Jurors also found true a gang allegation.

The first shooting occurred April 1, 2012, after Kennedy’s brother was shot and killed inside the Fantasy Gold Club in Harbor City, according to Deputy District Attorney Rachel Hardiman.

The defendant went outside the club and began shooting, injuring a woman who was leaving the area with her friends, according to the prosecutor.

On May 13, 2012, Kennedy pulled out a gun and began shooting after a fight broke out at a party in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck area, according to the prosecutor. Ken McRoyal, 22, was killed in that shooting, and another man was wounded.

McRoyal played football at Carson High School and El Camino College in Torrance before going on to to the University of Idaho.

Investigators determined that the bullet casings found at both shooting scenes were from the same gun, according to Hardiman.

Kennedy made statements about both shootings during wiretapped phone calls involving his gang that were heard by Long Beach police investigators, who installed a tracking device on his car that showed he was at the second crime scene at the time of the shooting, the prosecutor said.

The defendant is not related to the famed Kennedy family.

City News Service

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