Kalease Raymond Patterson, 19
Kalease Raymond Patterson, a 19-year-old black man, was shot and killed Sunday, March 10, near East 113th and Grape streets in Watts, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
About 4:30 p.m., Patterson driving a car with a friend north on Grape Street when another car pulled up and a person in the car began firing bullets at the two, said Los Angeles police Det. Nathan Kouri.
The car, described as a dark-colored sedan, fled on East 113th Street and out of view, police said.
Patterson was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m. at the scene, according to coroner’s records.
Neither Patterson nor the other man in the car were gang members. The motive remains unknown.
Family members said that Patterson was a man who was just discovering the value of hard work. He had to be on his way to work by 4:15 a.m. on most weekdays.
Patterson had started as a contractor at an oil refinery but had been hired full time because of his work ethic, relatives said.
But Patterson wanted more. He was studying to be an electrician. He was asking his mother about home prices with hopes of becoming a property owner someday.
He rarely took weekends off. On the day of the shooting, Patterson had a friend in town from Baltimore and was showing him around the Watts area.
Patterson was always helping his relatives. When his grand-uncle threw out his back recently, Patterson drove him to errands and kept up the house.
What pains his grandfather, Maurice Pinkney, is the loss of the man he was becoming.
“He wanted to make a good living,” he said. “He wanted to work hard.”
Patterson’s mother, Makita Lewis, said her son dreamed of starting his own home-building business.
“I never thought in a million years that this could happen to me,” said Lewis, a Navy senior chief petty officer stationed in Japan. “I’m serving for my country and my child is gunned down while I’m stationed overseas. It changes the way I think about everything.”
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (323) 786-5111. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
This article was updated with additional information about Kalease Patterson.