Lionzeal Williams, 52
Lionzeal Williams, a 52-year-old black man, was shot and killed Monday, April 4, in the 13400 block of South Avalon Boulevard in Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Williams and a friend, Eric Paul Bellard, 37, were standing in a parking lot about 5:15 p.m., “just hanging out and talking,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez.
A man in an SUV starting driving toward the two men, Hernandez said, and then pulled out a rifle and began shooting at them from inside his vehicle.
Witnesses told investigators that the man stopped the car, got out and continued to shoot at the two men, who were by then lying on the ground. The gunman then got back in the car and drove away.
Williams and Bellard, who is also black, were pronounced dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds at 5:20 p.m., according to coroner’s records.
Hernandez said investigators later found a third man who was injured.
Witnesses gave conflicting reports about the color and make of the vehicle, he said, but agreed it was a two-door SUV. The gunman was described only as being Latino.
Investigators are still trying to determine the motive, and can’t say whether the shooter was specifically targeting the two men.
“We’re looking for any gang ties, or whether local gangs are in some kind of dispute,” Hernandez said. “As crazy as it sounds, if a gang is feuding with another gang, they’re not looking for specific individuals but people who could be part of the rival gang, so if they were just looking for male blacks, for instance, this could have been a random shooting. We just don’t know.”
Bellard and Williams lived nearby, Hernandez said. “A lot of neighborhood people came out after the shooting, and they were upset by what had occurred. They knew these people. They were locals; just two men, hanging out together.”
Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.