The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a $10,000 reward for information leading to whoever shot and killed a 14-year-old boy on his way to a market in the Florence-Firestone area.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended the reward in the case of Otis Rayjon Williams, who was gunned down in an alley between East 98th Street and East 99th Street east of Central Avenue around 8:30 p.m. July 3.
Williams was walking alone when a blue Dodge Challenge drove up on 98th Street. Otis turned into the alley and the driver stopped at the entrance and fired several shots before speeding off.
Otis, an eighth-grade student at Dr. Charles R. Drew Gifted/Magnet Middle School, was taken to LAC+USC Medical Center, where he died.
Otis has just turned 14 and loved playing basketball and video games, Ridley-Thomas said.
Officials said Otis was not a gang member, and in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, his family wondered what could have motivated the killing.
“It used to be you could say, `I don’t do that, I don’t gang bang,’ and they’d leave you alone,” his father, also named Otis Williams, told the newspaper. “I guess it’s not that way anymore.”
The family, who moved to the neighborhood about a year ago, said Otis grew fast and was tall for a child ready to start high school in the fall.
Detectives believe there are witnesses in the neighborhood who may have seen the shooter or could identify him. They have recovered video of Otis walking in the alley, according to The Times.
His mother said she hopes someone will come forward.
“People talk,” she told The Times. “People brag.”
Anyone with additional information on the shooting was urged to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).