Cops: Disabled Teen Killed for Wearing Red Shoes

3 men charged in South LA murder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 2:40 AM CDT
Cops: Disabled Teen Killed for Wearing Red Shoes
Stock photo   (Pixabay)

Three men now in custody murdered a teen with developmental disabilities in front of his mother because they didn't like the color of his shoes, according to the LAPD. Police say that on the morning of May 29, 19-year-old Tavin Price went into a smoke shop in South LA to buy a soda and was confronted by men who asked him about his red shoes and his gang affiliation, the Los Angeles Times reports. Cops say Price ignored the men and returned to a nearby car wash, where he was shot four times in front of his mother and a family friend. Alleged shooter Kanasho Johns, 27, was arrested in Texas yesterday and has been charged with murder, as have Dwight Smith, 30, and Kevin Johnson, 25, ABC7 reports.

Police say Price had nothing to do with gangs and just happened to be wearing red shoes. "There are seldom times where we see senseless tragedies ... where a young man is killed simply because of the color of his shoes," an LAPD spokesman says, per NBC Los Angeles. “We thought those days were past us." After investigators held a press conference yesterday, Price's mother said she still visits her son in the cemetery every day and still hears his final words, KTLA reports. "Everything I hear is Tavin saying, 'Mommy, am I going to be all right? Mommy, I'm not going to die, am I?' That's all that I hear every day," she said. "I've got to live with that for the rest of my life. That's torture. You robbed me of my baby." (Another senseless death in the news: that of a toddler left in a hot car for 16 hours.)

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