[Update: Gang member Kevin Dwayne Green, 28, will be arraigned later today at the LAX courthouse, according to the D.A. He's charged with Oscar Duncan's June 4 murder (with gang enhancement), along with an alleged May 21 robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The D.A. says Green was known as "Baby Skull" by fellow gang members. A case is reportedly still being built against Hopeton Bereford Parsley, the other suspect arrested for Duncan's murder. Update: A Playboy Gangster Crips gang member named "babyscull" is mentioned in this comment on Streetgangs.com.]
Originally posted June 11 at 1 p.m.
The slaying of 23-year-old Venice youth pastor Oscar "Choirboy" Duncan on June 4 quickly became the most heartbreaking L.A. homicide of 2012.
Family and friends begged anyone with information about his killers to come forward, and the city posted a rare $50,000 reward.
Under a week later, LAPD homicide detectives say they have their guys:
Their names are Kevin Dwayne Green and Hopeton Bereford Parsley, according to LAPD media relations.
Their arrest records on the L.A. County Sheriff's website show that Green is a 28-year-old black male arrested on June 8, and Parsley is a 22-year-old black male arrested on June 9. The former has no option for bail, while the latter is being held under $1 million bail.
The victim, a former football captain and prom king at Venice High School who reportedly dedicated much of his young adulthood to fighting gang violence, was shot down outside his mother's Venice home on Santa Clara Avenue, right near trendy Abbott Kinney Boulevard. (Named "coolest block in America" by GQ Magazine.) But the area where Duncan was shot, called Oakwood, is a bubble of low-income housing still plagued by gang activity.
LAPD officials initially said they believed four men in a white car were jeering at Duncan's girlfriend when Duncan got involved. The suspects allegedly shouted a gang name, shot the victim with a single bullet and sped off.
The community was shocked: Why would anybody target such a peaceful and giving person, who had ironically devoted his life to preventing just this kind of crime?
We're gathering more information on the suspects -- check back for updates.
Update, 2 p.m.: Jim Freund with the LAPD's West Bureau Homicide Unit says both Green and Parsley are "believed to be involved in the homicide of Mr. Duncan. They were both booked for murder."
Although he won't say if either suspect is a known gang member, Freund confirms that "we're investigating it as a gang homicide." Cops will present will present their case to the D.A. tomorrow.
Mug shots for Green and Parsley will not be released, so as not to affect witness testimonies. However, here's one possible lead: a screenshot of a photo that one of Oscar Duncan's Facebook friends posted yesterday. [Update: The poster's name has been removed because she is scared for her safety.] The caption implied that the man in the photo had been arrested in connection to Duncan's murder. We have NOT confirmed this information.
Update, 3 p.m.: On a Streetgangs.com thread about the Playboy Gangster Crips of West L.A., anonymous commenters are implying that Duncan was a casualty of the feud between that gang and Venice's Shoreline Crips.
For example: When one says, "FUCC VENICE SHOLINE.....YALL NIGGAS ARE CHOIR BOYS...HAHAHAH," another replies, "FUCC BUTTS. YOU GET NO STRIPES FOR A YOUTH MINISTER WHO DONT EVEN BANG. Stay in ya house cuzz u know what time it is."
A similar back-and-forth is going down on the thread for the Shoreline Crips.