Leon Deandre Simpson, 39
Leon Deandre Simpson, a 39-year-old black man, was shot and killed Thursday, Sept. 3, near East 50th and South San Pedro streets in South Park, according to police and Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Shortly before 3 p.m., Simpson was shot while driving west on East 50th Street, LAPD Det. Richard Arciniega said.
It is unclear where the gunman may have fired from, but the shooting led Simpson to crash his SUV into two parked cars and a home, which then erupted in flames.
More than 30 firefighters responded to the shooting. Two LAPD officers pulled Simpson from the burning SUV, and he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:39 p.m., according to coroner’s records.
Simpson was a father of four who also served as the president of a local motorcycle club named Hogg Life.
Cameron Buffington, 47, a friend of Simpson for more than two decades, said he had spoken with Simpson a few hours before his death, and they were planning a trip to Lake Elsinore with their families over the Labor Day weekend.
“He was a family man – and that was it,” Buffington said.
Buffington said it’s unclear why someone would have targeted Simpson, especially because he spoke out against violence and wanted to start a local youth softball team to help give youngsters something to do in the area.
“He was always the first one to be like, ‘Let’s sit down, let’s talk about it,’” he said.
Lenecia Glover, who knows Simpson through the motorcycle club, said that she was “devastated” to hear of the shooting.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD’s Newton Division at (323) 846-6556. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
Photo: A small vigil was set up Friday, Sept. 4 near where Simpson's car crashed. Credit: Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times