A young Hawthorne man who reportedly attended El Camino College in Torrance was murdered last night by two men who had just robbed his family members at Gins Liquor Store, located along Crenshaw Boulevard in next-door Inglewood.
The victim's aunt, Trezil Houston, told NBC Los Angeles at the scene that 22-year-old Shawn Bryant had parked on a side street while a carful of relatives, on the way to a birthday party around 12:30 a.m., pulled around back because someone had to use the bathroom. Bryant then allegedly went inside the liquor store to get some change.
"Two of them came with gunpoint and robbed us, told us to give them everything, to lay down on the ground and then five seconds later we gave them everything," she said.
That's when the gunpoint robbery turned homicide: "They took our car keys and threw them and said, 'In two minutes come and get your keys.' As soon as they ran, five seconds later, we heard gunshots and that's when they killed my nephew.''
The men allegedly then shot Bryant's girlfriend -- screaming in the passenger's seat -- before running off into the night. Currently, the young woman is said to be alive and conscious at a nearby hospital.
Here's the NBC4 broadcast report:
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Bryant's mother, Cunnetta Sims, who was not travelling with the group, said that she got a devastating phone call in the middle of the night from her eldest son.
"He called me, he said 'Mom,' and then he started crying," she told reporters. "And I knew that it had to be his brother -- because I got two older sons and have one younger -- and he said, 'Mama, he's dead.'"
She called the shooters "cowards," and says she has no idea why they "walked up to [Bryant] and shot him in the chest, then shot him in the back."
Inglewood police are looking into the shooting, but have not determined a motive so far. The assailants are described as two black men in their mid- to late 20s, about 5-foot-ten and 180 pounds, one with a light complexion and the other darker.
Sims was also upset that her son's dead body was still lying on the floor of the liquor store seven hours later.
"They're just treating him like a piece of meat, you know, because he's evidence," she said.
Many of Bryant's friends on Twitter had learned of his murder by morning:
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The 22-year-old included the following quotes on his Facebook profile: "The Mind is a terrible thing to waist" and "Hang around 9 broke people, and u will be the 10th." Did you know Shawn Bryant? Please share below.