By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FIFTY-THREE PEOPLE DIED in L.A.'s riot 10 years ago.
Gunfire killed 35, including eight people shot by law enforcement and two by National Guardsmen. Six died in arson fires. Attackers used sticks or boards to kill two others. Stabbings killed two. Six died in car accidents; two in hit-and-runs. One was strangled.
The violence crossed racial and ethnic lines. The dead included 25 African-Americans, 16 Latinos, eight whites, two Asians, one Algerian, and one Indian or Middle Easterner. Men outnumbered women, 48 to 5.
One of the more troubling statistics: 22 of the cases remain open, unsolved homicides.
Investigative reporter JIM CROGAN, using coroner's reports, police records and interviews, compiled these snapshots of the final moments of the lives of L.A.'s 53.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29
TIME: 7:30 p.m. LOCATION: Intersection of 120th Street and Central Avenue, South-Central L.A. STATUS: Open case, LAPD's Southeast Division: (213) 485-6902
Miranda, a 23-year-old Mexican-American, was driving home from a South-Central park with a nephew and a friend. A blue car pulled up and someone fired one shot, hitting Miranda in the chest.
TIME: 8:15 p.m. LOCATION: 400 block of W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. STATUS: Open case, LAPD's Southwest Division: (213) 485-6571
Taylor, a 43-year-old African-American, stood on a South L.A. street, where he had stopped on his way home from work. Someone drove by and shot him in the neck.
TIME: 8:35 p.m. LOCATION: 4404 S. Western Ave., South-Central L.A.
Southwest Division officers said they caught 27-year-old Benavidez robbing a gas station on South Western Avenue. When he pulled a gun on them, he was shot twice in the chest. He left behind a young child. It appears that a gunshot residue sample was never tested to prove that Benavidez had handled a weapon; the shooting was found to be justified.
TIME: 9 p.m. LOCATION: 5000 block of West Slauson Avenue, Ladera Heights
STATUS: Open case, Sheriff's Homicide Division: (323) 890-5500
Car trouble led to the death of Vela, a 33-year-old Mexican-American from Arvin, who was driving with two friends when their car broke down on Slauson Avenue. Vela stayed with the light-blue, 1986 Ford Taurus, while his companions looked for a phone. When they returned, Vela was on his back in the street, with a gunshot wound to the chest. Vela left behind a wife, Rosa, and an 8-month-old daughter.
Anthony Lamarr Netherly
A passing motorist found Netherly, a 21-year-old African-American, lying in the street and took him to Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center. He had been shot in the left eye. Netherly was a nurse's assistant.
TIME: 9:30 p.m. LOCATION: Unknown
Williams, a 29-year-old African-American, weighed more than 300 pounds. Somehow he fell out of the back of his brother's truck and suffered severe head injuries. Williams' death, ruled accidental, was blamed on treacherous driving conditions.
John Henry Willers
TIME: 11 p.m. LOCATION: 10,000 block of North Sepulveda Boulevard, Mission Hills STATUS: Open case, LAPD's Foothill Division: (818) 834-3115
It appears that this man's kindness cost him his life. Thirty-seven-year-old Willers, a white man from Salt Lake City, tried to help people involved in a head-on collision in Mission Hills. Passersby gunned him down, the fatal shot piercing his heart.
TIME: 11:30 p.m. LOCATION: Intersection of 92nd Street and Western Avenue, South-Central L.A. STATUS: Open case, LAPD's 77th Division: (213) 485-1385
As Wilkins, 33, and some friends stood around their car, shots rang out from a passing car. A bullet hit Wilkins, an African-American, in the chest, ripping into his aorta. Wilkins' friends drove him to Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center, where he died.
TIME: Midnight LOCATION: Intersection of Avalon Boulevard and Slauson Avenue, Watts
Perilous driving conditions contributed to the death of Harris. The 38-year-old African-American was eastbound on Slauson Avenue in South-Central, when his car collided with another one at Avalon Boulevard. The riot delayed paramedics. He left behind a wife, Ernestine. No charges were filed.
Nissar Daoud Mustafa a.k.a. Wassir Daoud Nissar
TIME: Unknown LOCATION: 1601 S. Western Ave., Koreatown STATUS: Open case, LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section: (213) 473-7474
Arsonists torched the J.J. Newberry Department store on South Western Avenue. Nearly four months later, on August 12, a worker found the body of Mustafa, a 20-year-old Indian or Middle Easterner, in the rubble. Mustafa had lived at 326 S. Normandie Ave. in the Wilshire District.
Anthony James Taylor Dennis Ray Jackson Sr.
TIME: Midnight LOCATION: 11,300 block of Alvaro Street
It appears these two African-Americans, Taylor, 31, and Jackson, 38, died in a shootout with LAPD officers near Nickerson Gardens Housing Project. Taylor was hit in the head; Jackson, in the back, the bullet shattering his spinal cord and slicing his aorta. Tests showed both men had likely handled or fired a weapon.
TIME: Unknown LOCATION: Vanowen Street near Coldwater Canyon Avenue, North Hollywood
Hours after the jury verdict, a group of African-American men stood outside their North Hollywood apartment collecting donations to retry the white officers. One resident gave $2 and resisted demands to give more. He tried to run away but was hit on the head with a board. His neighbor, Rivera, intervened and was struck in the head, suffering a broken skull. He went into a coma, and his family removed him from life-support on December 16. A jury convicted Traville Craig, 19, of murder, and he received a life sentence with no chance of parole.