A story for every victim

Marcos Perez, 22

Marcos Perez, a 22-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Tuesday, June 28, in the 13800 block of South Avalon Boulevard in the Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

The incident began when Perez, who is suspected of being a gang member, walked up to three men who were sitting in the courtyard outside their apartments around 10 p.m., talking and drinking.

Witnesses told investigators that shortly before Perez appeared, a large, dark-colored American-made sedan drove along the alley next to the courtyard without stopping, Rosson said. 

A few minutes later, Perez appeared and “just opened fire indiscriminately at the group,” Rosson said.

The three black men, ages 33, 44 and 49, were struck by gunfire, but at some point during the shooting, one of them or someone else opened fire, striking Perez in the upper torso multiple times, Rosson said.

“We believe he tried to do a shooting on members of another gang, and it backfired on him,” Rosson said.

Perez was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:30 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head, according to coroner’s records. The other three men were taken to the hospital, and are all expected to survive. 

Investigators found one gun at the scene, which they believe was used by Perez. No other guns were found, Rosson said. 

“By the time deputies got there, the other guns, and whoever may have shot them, were long gone,” Rosson said. 

Investigators suspect that the gang Perez was involved with has been active in other shootings in the Compton area, Rosson said. 

Perez himself is a “person of interest” in another shooting the day before that killed a construction worker on South Central Avenue at East 148th Street in West Compton.

Grady Lee Wilcots, 53, was part of a construction crew that was repaving South Central Avenue at 4:05 p.m. Monday, June 27, when a young Latino ran from 148th Street and shot him multiple times, Rosson said. 

“There were probably 20 to 25 members of a crew working at that time, and it appeared to the witnesses that he ran straight up to Wilcots and opened fire,” Rosson said. 

Wilcots was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead the following day at 7:07 p.m. from a gunshot wound to the head. 

Rosson said investigators believe Wilcots was a past or present member of a Compton gang unaffiliated with Perez’s gang or the gang of the men he shot at in Willowbrook. 

All the shootings are under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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