The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors renewed or re-established three rewards Tuesday in hopes of tracking down whoever gunned down a 43-year-old man saying goodbye to his family in Compton, a 21-year-old Cal State Long Beach student in West Compton and two young fathers in a Compton gas station.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended renewing a $10,000 reward in the killing of 43-year-old Demetrius Bracken, who was shot to death about 1:35 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2018, while saying goodbye to family in Compton.
The reward, set to expire May 10, will now be available for at least the next 90 days.
Bracken was standing with his 26-year-old nephew, Devion Cox, outside another family member’s home in the 2000 block of North Parmalee Avenue when a man stepped out of the rear passenger door of a black Chevrolet Tahoe parked at the corner of Parmalee and 134th Street.
The gunman walked up and fired several shots before jumping back into the SUV, which sped off east on 134th Street.
Both Bracken and Cox were struck by bullets and taken by neighbors to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where Bracken died. His nephew’s injuries were not life-threatening, according to Ridley-Thomas.
Detectives said they believe neighborhood witnesses may have seen or know the gunman or others who were sitting in the Tahoe, and are hoping that a reward may encourage residents to come forward.
Ridley-Thomas also recommended re-establishing a reward for information on the gunman who shot Estephan Hernandez on the evening of Sept. 28, 2017, as he sat in his parked car in the 1100 block of East 148th Street in the unincorporated West Compton area having a conversation with a female friend.
Hernandez died at the scene and his companion was taken to a hospital for treatment of a single gunshot wound, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Ridley-Thomas said Hernandez was a honor student majoring in sociology, who was on track to graduate in April 2018 and pursue a career in social work.
The suspect vehicle was described only as a black four-door sedan that pulled alongside Hernandez’s parked car without stopping as someone inside opened fire, and then sped west on 148th Street.
Last year, when the reward was first announced, Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley made a plea for the public’s help.
“Knowing that murders of many young men in his community are difficult — or impossible — to solve, we really seek community involvement,” she said.
The board also renewed a reward, set to expire May 4, in the Compton shooting of two young fathers.
About 9 p.m. on May 15, 2016, 24-year-old Richard Williams was driving out of a 76 gas station in the 1200 block of South Wilmington Avenue with two friends — 23-year-old Boston Farley and 26-year-old Brandon Upchurch – – when someone fired into their vehicle.
Williams was struck by multiple rounds and died at the scene. Farley died at St. Francis Medical Center.
Upchurch, who escaped injury, told investigators that as Williams drove from the parking lot, an “armed male assailant was waiting on the sidewalk and began shooting into the vehicle,” according to the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. “The suspect then got into a waiting white utility truck, which fled northbound on Wilmington Avenue and out of view.”
Sheriff’s officials said the victims, both residents of Compton, were not gang members, but their assailants could be. The suspects’ truck was described as a white Chevrolet or GMC utility service truck with ladder racks and built-in side tool boxes.
Both victims were fathers of year-old sons and Williams, who worked as a communications company installer, was engaged to be married.
Ridley-Thomas urged anyone with information on any of the killings to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers, 800-222-TIPS (8477).