A story for every victim

Gunshots down the hall, then a grisly discovery

This post has been updated. See the note at the bottom for details.

Shamika Shoels was sitting in the bedroom of her Inglewood apartment Tuesday afternoon when she heard shots.

She rushed into the hallway and saw a gunman fleeing.

In her living room and kitchen, Shoels discovered a terrible scene. Her son, Datwan Henderson, 22, was bleeding and clutching his neck. His girlfriend, Crystallyn “Asia” Nguyen, 18, had been shot. 

And Shoels' mother, Dora Lee Dawson, 64, was seriously wounded.

Nguyen and Dawson later died at a hospital. Henderson is in critical condition.

Inglewood police on Wednesday took Nguyen’s former boyfriend, Justin Marquis Scott, 20, into custody and have called him a “person of interest” in the shootings.

Authorities said they believe Scott approached Henderson in the back of the apartment about noon Tuesday and an altercation occurred. At that point, police allege that Scott chased Henderson into the apartment and began shooting. 

At a vigil held Wednesday, Shoels moaned and yelled as she recounted what she saw the day of the shooting.

Around her, dozens of people stood looking on silently with pained faces. A couple of people watched from the windows of second-floor apartments. Outside Shoels' apartment, someone had placed a wooden rocking chair with a sign taped to it saying: “This seat is reserved for Mrs. Dora Dawson.” 

"She was a wonderful person," Shoels said of the mother of four and grandmother to more than 10. "She didn't deserve this."

Shoels described the chaos that ensued after the shooting. She called 911.

"I said please, my mom, my son and his girlfriend have been shot," she said.

She then set the phone down because, she thought, they have to hear what's going on.

Her son was grabbing his neck, so she wrapped a blanket around it. 

The moments before paramedics arrived seemed like eternity. She jumped on top of her mother, attempting to render aid.

She then ran outside to the street, screaming.

“Mind you,” she said. “I just needed help.”

 After the vigil, Dawson’s granddaughters described her as a woman with a penchant for Western movies.

She was a problem-solver for the family, they said, a woman who kept “everything together.”

“Who would do this?” asked Mercedes Mackbee, 26. “Something is not right.”

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Dora Dawson. Credit: Dawson family

Correction: A previous version of this post referred to Datwan Henderson as Datwan Anderson.

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