Donta Gurrell Taylor, 31
Donta Gurrell Taylor, a 31-year-old black man, was shot and killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on Thursday, Aug. 25, near the concrete-lined wash basin by West Arbutus Street and North Kemp Avenue in Compton, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Deputies who had been chasing Taylor shot the man, said Lt. Steve Jauch. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:30 p.m. with multiple gunshot wounds, according to coroner’s records.
Authorities said Taylor pointed a handgun at the deputies, but investigators have been unable to find a weapon, Jauch said.
“I can tell you both deputies said he was armed with a firearm and both deputies were involved in the shooting,” Jauch said. “A thorough search was conducted after the shooting that night and again the following day, with two different gun dogs, metal detectors and uniformed personnel, and we were unable to locate a gun.”
Jauch said investigators have been unable to find any witnesses to the shooting. “I won’t venture a guess about where it [the gun] is or how it walked away,” he said. "We know other people were in the area. If anybody has any information to assist in this investigation, by all means we want to hear from them.”
Jauch said the officers were patrol deputies assigned to the sheriff’s summer enforcement team, which provides extra patrols in Compton during the summer “for extra visibility.”
Taylor was walking northbound on the west side of Wilmington Avenue a little after 8 p.m. when the two patrol deputies pulled up alongside him and tried to “engage in conversation,” Jauch said.
“There was no probable cause, no indication of criminal activity. They just pull up alongside him to engage in conversation," Jauch said. He added that Taylor pulled a silver handgun out of the waistband of his shorts before starting to run but didn't point it at deputies at that time.
The deputies gave chase, Jauch said, and Taylor turned west towards the wash basin and crossed over to a residential area on West Arbutus Street, where one of the deputies caught up with him.
That’s when one of the deputies said Taylor pointed the gun at him, Jauch said. “It was 8:28 p.m. There was lighting, but it was dark. The first shooting occurred on Arbutus Street, and then he [Taylor] ran eastbound on Arbutus Street, into the wash area, and the second shooting happened there.”
Jauch said he couldn’t comment on whether both deputies fired each time. The deputies have not yet been identified.
Anyone who finds a gun in the area is asked to leave it where they find it and call 911 or the Sheriff’s Department Compton Station, Jauch said.
Taylor’s family has started a fundraising campaign to help cover his burial expenses.
Donta “didn’t deserve to die,” wrote his godsister Nesh Nesh Hunter. “He was just walking down to the corner store, minding his own business, when he was approached by deputies, led the deputies on a chase and then was shot dead moments later.”
People with information about the shooting should call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.