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Carl Martin Pickering Jr.
  • Death date
  • May 14, 2007

Carl Martin Pickering Jr., 26

Carl Martin Pickering Jr., 26, a black man, was shot after getting into a parked Chevrolet in a parking lot in front of a liquor store on the southeast corner of 120th Street and Central Avenue in Watts. He was hit at about 2 p.m. Monday, May 14, and died at St. Francis hospital at 3:56 p.m. His assailant walked up and shot into the car. A possible personal dispute was involved. Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Southeast detectives at (213) 972-7848.

Update: A black man was arrested and charged with Pickering's murder. The suspect's motive was said to involve gang interests, said LAPD Southeast detectives. The case has been tried once so far, and resulted in a hung jury.

Dispatch: Asphalt, Traffic and Grief [Originally published May 14, 2007]

Minutes after the shooting, a young woman in white stood weeping a few yards from where a bullet had pierced Carl Pickering's chest. "I hope he's all right," she said. Near her, another woman in a blue tank top was answering the questions of a police officer who was chewing gum and scribbling notes. The woman in blue kept glancing around wildly, and clasping and unclasping her hands. "Oh my God, oh my God," she said to no one in particular.

A boy passing on his bicycle stops to ask LAPD Capt. Rick Jacobs what happened. In this photo, the boys' face registers his response as Jacobs explains that a man has just been shot and killed in the parking lot. "It's horrible," the boy said.A car pulled up and a teenage girl got out. Family members turned toward her. The girl was shaking her head. Pickering had just been pronounced dead at the hospital. "He gone!" cried the young woman in white.

She stumbled into the street, bent double, covered her face, and screamed. Passing cars edged around her and kept going. The woman in blue stayed on the sidewalk alone. "They killed my baby!" she said. Across the street, a crowd of people, including several teenagers about 13 or 14 years old, watched the scene impassively.

Photo: A boy passing on his bicycle stops to ask LAPD Capt. Rick Jacobs what happened. In this photo, the boys' face registers his response as Jacobs explains that a man has just been shot and killed in the parking lot. "It's horrible," the boy said.

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