Richard Allen Jefferson Sr., 65
Richard Allen Jefferson Sr., a 65-year-old black man, was fatally shot on Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the 600 block of West Peach Street in Compton, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Jefferson, the father of former NBA basketball player Richard Jefferson, lived in Inglewood. He had driven to the P&G Market in Compton and parked near the store, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza.
Jefferson went in the market, Mendoza said, and then walked across Paulsen Street and started talking to a man on the sidewalk when a dark-colored sedan passed by heading south around 6:52 p.m., Mendoza said.
Someone in the car began shooting, striking Jefferson multiple times, Mendoza said. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:02 p.m., Mendoza said.
Investigators don’t have a motive for the shooting, and don’t know whether it was gang-related or somehow connected to Jefferson's son, Mendoza said.
A security hold was put on the case, meaning the autopsy results can’t be made public until investigators remove the hold. “We did it because his son is a famous person, and we’re trying to protect the integrity of the case,” Mendoza said.
It’s not clear why Jefferson went to a market in Compton, but investigators think he might have been visiting someone, Mendoza said. “He grew up in the Compton area, so he probably had a lot of friends there.”
His son, Richard Jefferson Jr., 38, played 17 seasons in the NBA, and in 2016 won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, The Times reported.
The younger Jefferson also played for the Nets, Bucks, Spurs, Warriors, Jazz, Mavericks, and finally the Denver Nuggets before announcing his formal retirement from basketball on Oct. 13. On Oct. 16, the younger Jefferson was hired by the YES Network as the Brooklyn Nets game and studio analyst.
Jefferson Jr. lived in Compton until he was 6, when he moved to Phoenix with his mother and two siblings, according to the New York Times. He grew up with his mother and stepfather, Meekness and John LeCato, the New York Times reported, but in recent years had become closer to his father, whom he called “Big Rich,” ESPN reported.
He and his family had started spending summers in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, not far from his father’s Inglewood home, where he hosted popular barbecues, according to ESPN.
“All I would do is tell people that I was having people over to my house and the next question was, ‘Is Big Rich on the grill?’ Jefferson wrote about his father on Instagram. "He really was a true OG. I’m going to miss all his one-liners, his cooking and his ability to make a whole room laugh."
Investigators don’t have any information about the shooter other than the dark-colored sedan, Mendoza said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.