A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.
A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

Inglewood police Thursday hunted the killer of an ex-Oregon State linebacker who was remembered as having a sense of humor that “could bust up anyone.”

Social media tributes from 24-year-old Joshua Williams’ former teammates described his “tragic passing.” His high school coach expressed bewilderment over “why this stuff happens,” and said Williams was a month away from returning to Kentucky State where he had transferred as a football player after Oregon State.

Police on Tuesday responded to a 5:35 p.m. call of a shooting in the 7900 Block of South Van Ness Avenue and found Williams suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his upper body. The Inglewood resident was pronounced dead at a hospital.

A tweet from the Oregon State football team’s account reads, “We are very saddened by the news of the tragic passing of former Beaver Josh Williams. Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”

Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker, a teammate of Williams at Oregon State in 2011, tweeted, “Saddened by the loss of a former OSU teammate. Josh Williams had a sense of humor that could bust up anyone. He will be missed by many.”

Williams attended Salesian High School in Boyle Heights. He enrolled at Oregon State University made four tackles in four games for OSU in 2011, but did not play in 2012 due to a suspension over a rules violation.

Williams eventually transferred to Kentucky State, where he made 47 tackles in 10 games in 2014 and one tackle in two games in the 2015 season.

Williams’ high school coach, Angelo Jackson, told The Oregonian that the athlete “was always smiling and a loving person.”

“It’s just difficult right now to understand why this stuff happens,” Jackson told the newspaper, adding that Williams “only had a month left in town” prior to returning to Kentucky for the upcoming college football season.

Anyone with information on the shooting was urged to contact the Inglewood Police Department’s Homicide Section at (310) 412-5246, or make an anonymous tip by calling (888) 412-7463.

—City News Service

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