| Yetunde Price
Compton (California): Authorities arrested a 24-year-old man in the shooting death of the eldest sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams in a poor Los Angeles suburb, police said on Monday.
Aaron Michael Hammer was arrested as a suspect in the death on Sunday of Yetunde Price, 31, in Compton, an area known for gang violence about 20 miles south of Los Angeles, L.A. sheriff’s deputy Bill Spear said.
Details of the arrest, the specific charges against Hammer or his relationship to Price were not released. Hammer was being held without bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Los Angeles County, Spear said.
The shooting occurred at 12.15 am on Sunday outside a house that witnesses described as abandoned. It came after a confrontation between neighbourhood residents and Price, who was riding in a white sports utility vehicle (SUV) with another man, Rolland Wormley, 28, according to Spear. “Somehow they had become involved in a confrontation with the local residents,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Richard Pena.
“That dispute led to gunfire and the woman was shot in the upper torso,” deputy Scott Butler said on Monday.
Wormley, who was not injured, was later arrested on a parole violation, the sheriff’s office said on Monday. It was unclear who had been driving the vehicle.
Sheriff’s deputies and a gang squad from the Compton police department had initially surrounded the abandoned house, where it was believed between one and three suspects were barricaded.
But police later determined the suspects had left before they arrived, Pena said. An assault rifle may have been used in the shooting. Police were questioning several witnesses. Price died of gunshot wounds to her upper body shortly after arriving at a local hospital. The mother of three owned a Los Angeles-area beauty salon and worked as a personal assistant to her two sisters. Investigators were trying to determine why Price and Wormley were in the neighbourhood, a moderate and low-income area with primarily Latino and black residents.
Neighbour Mark Adams said he was watching TV when he heard “a lot of shots” possibly from a semi-automatic weapon, ring out early Sunday morning. “I could hear it take off ,” he said, referring to the SUV.“I couldn’t hear rubber burning but you knew somebody was trying to get the hell out of there.” (Reuters)