Gangs claim another family member: 'I lost my Daddy to the same streets'
Timothy White Jr. had just said goodbye to his wife, and he told her he’d be right back.
He drove a short distance and stepped out of his car shortly before 9:45 p.m. on July 28. He was on his way to wish a friend a happy birthday, and was about five houses away from the gathering when two men approached him in the 900 block of West 79th Street in Vermont Vista.
One man said, “Hey man, what’s up?” Then shots rang out, police said. White was taken to a hospital, where he died within the hour. He was 32.
White, who had a past affiliation with the 74th Street Hoover Criminals, is the latest casualty of gang violence in his family, relatives said. His father, Timothy Ervin White, was shot and killed at the age of 35 on June 8, 1999. He died about a mile away from where his son would be fatally wounded. A 23-year-old cousin had been killed eight years earlier.
White, who had spent some time in prison over the years on weapons and drug charges, had been applying for jobs. Released in November, he was also making up for lost time with his three boys -- ages 15, 10 and 6 -- by taking them to parks, the aquarium and the beach. White and his wife were expecting their first girl in February. The couple planned to move to San Bernardino County.
“At this point in his life, he had too much to live for,” said his cousin Tanasa Rogers.
In many ways, his story reflects the stories of other men who grow up on tough streets and lose their way. White’s father tried to keep him from getting involved with the Hoovers, Rogers said, but he did not escape the legacy.
“It was kind of inevitable that he would be involved because it was always part of his life,” she said.
Like his father did with him, White was trying to share the lessons that he learned on the streets to the younger generation, Rogers said. He told them to turn away from conflict.
“He really wanted to change in life,” said his wife, Thomaya White.
In recent months, he'd seen firsthand when those lessons were not learned. White had been encouraging 20-year-old Aveion Curtis Bolden to stay out of trouble. But Bolden was shot and killed, along with his girlfriend, Jacinta Walker, while on a double date June 13. A car pulled alongside the one Bolden was riding in, and a gunman fired.
The driver of Bolden and Walker's car returned fire, shooting and killing the 33-year-old passenger in the other car.
At Bolden's funeral, White served as a pallbearer.
At a recent vigil held for White, men and women stood near where he was shot. Posters hung from wrought iron fences and people placed white and blue candles on the sidewalk below. People sold buttons with Timothy’s face on it to raise money for the funeral.
Family members and people from the community spoke about the loss. Jamie Kirk, 32, White’s cousin, said her son can’t walk down the street without fear of being killed.
“Look what you’re doing to our neighborhood,” she shouted.
His two sisters addressed the crowd of dozens. “I lost my daddy to the same streets," said 21-year-old Timberly White, her lower lip trembling. “Timmy’s all I had, man.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Criminal Gang Homicide Division at (213) 485-4341. To leave an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
Photo, above: Rodesha Peoples, left, and Timberly White address a crowd at a vigil for Timothy White. Credit: Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times. Photo, right: Timothy White. Credit: Thomaya White