A story for every victim

Baldwin Hills stabbing case lacks leads, witnesses

It was about 3 on a January afternoon and Roshon Dwayne Davis had just left his Baldwin Hills apartment. He wanted to catch the bus to get to the DMV before it closed.

His wife, Araceli, stayed behind with the kids.  Within minutes, she heard a woman screaming. The 27-year-old ran downstairs from the apartment  to see her husband stumbling, his gray shirt covered in red. 

A neighbor brought a towel to soak up the blood. Roshon lifted up his shirt, revealing a stab wound. He began slipping in and out of consciousness. Araceli knelt down and began CPR.

Please don’t let it be the heart, she thought. Please don’t let it be the heart.

Araceli would wait for what seemed like too long for the paramedics to arrive. When they did, the sirens were deafening. She couldn’t be by his side in the ambulance, they said. She had to stay behind for questioning by police. She later found a ride to the hospital.

Roshon was dead by noon the next day. Authorities said Roshon was stabbed near the bus stop at the busy intersection of South La Brea Avenue and Coliseum Street. The attack, they believe, happened fast and could have looked like a push or a shove.

So far, though, there aren't many tips to go on. It’s been difficult to find witnesses.

“The good people around there who are just trying to get by are afraid to say anything,” LAPD Sgt. Paul Shearholdt said.  

Araceli and Roshon had recently moved back to Southern California from Las Vegas. Roshon’s aunt let them stay in her apartment while they got their life in order. Araceli was excited – she felt as though she was finally starting her life with Roshon, whom she married two years ago in a simple courthouse ceremony.

Their days were filled attending to their four girls -- Summer, 4; Jordyn, 3; Aaliyah, 1; and Mila, who was born in August -- and searching for a new place. 

“Everywhere he went, I went,” she said.

They had settled on an apartment in Long Beach and one of the main selling points was that it seemed to be in a low-crime area.

Now, Araceli is trying to comprehend a life without her husband, whom she locked eyes with on a bus in Orange County in 2008.

Each day makes it more real. First came the Feb. 10 funeral, then five days later, their wedding anniversary. In honor of Roshon, she took her daughters to the beach. His birthday is coming up in July, and she plans to take flowers to his grave.

Recently, another child told Summer, her oldest daughter, how her father died. She has nightmares. The other girls are young, but they understand that their father isn’t coming back. God took him, she tells them.

Araceli misses Roshon's help around the house. He’d cook and do the chores.

“Sit down and relax,” he’d say. “Let me help you.”

Araceli and the girls are sharing a bedroom at her mother’s house in Santa Ana. Araceli frequently dreams of Roshon -- the other night he told her that everything will be fine. But her grief still triggers headaches.

Araceli signed Summer up for cheerleading. But when that first game comes, Araceli knows, Summer will want her father there.

Someone saw something that day, Araceli believes.       

“Those people, they don’t know what they took away from us,” she says.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Araceli Davis, 27, sits with her four girls (left to right) Jordyn, 3, Aaliyah, 1,  baby Mila, 6 months, and Summer, 4, in the room she shares with her daughters at her mother’s home in Santa Ana. Credit: Barbara Davidson,  Los Angeles Times

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