Shaniece Lenyeh Davis, 27
Shaniece Lenyeh Davis, a 27-year-old black woman, was shot and killed Wednesday, July 13, in the 11700 block of Oxford Avenue in Hawthorne, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Davis had been staying at an apartment in Hawthorne where police got frequent calls about loud parties and drug use, said Hawthorne Police Lt. Scott Swain.
“It was basically a crash pad for a bunch of street people,” Swain said. “I guess the tenant had had enough and was trying to get rid of everyone.”
Davis had been staying at the apartment for more than a week, Swain said, and the tenant, John Thomas "JT" McDowell, got into an argument with her when she allegedly refused to leave.
About 2:14 a.m, McDowell allegedly texted his niece, Jennifer Hickman, to come over and help him get people out of the house, Swain said. Hickman allegedly arrived with a gun, and got into an argument with Davis.
“After the verbal argument, shots were fired and Ms. Davis was hit,” Swain said. “Interestingly, the apartment was full of people but no one actually saw the shooting. We know she (Hickman) walked in with a gun, shots were fired and she left with a gun.”
Davis was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead at 3:17 a.m., according to coroner’s records.
Hickman, also known as “Peaches,” a 35-year-old black woman, was arrested on suspicion of murder a few hours later at an Inglewood motel, Swain said.
Investigators allegedly found a semi-automatic handgun during the arrest, Swain said. The gun is being tested to see if it was involved in the shooting.
Hickman was charged July 15 with murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. She pleaded not guilty to those charges during her arraignment on Aug. 1 and is being held in lieu of paying $3 million bail. Her next court hearing is Aug. 31 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Airport courthouse, to set a date for her preliminary hearing.
Swain said Hickman has used several aliases. When she was arrested, authorities said Hickman identified herself as Tatiana Webster, Swain said, the name of her fiancee who was killed in Las Vegas on April 27, when Webster opened the door to their apartment and was shot by an unknown gunman.
Hickman was also booked under another alias, as Jennifer H. Sanchez Webster, according to jail records. Swain said Hickman is a documented member of a Los Angeles gang.
McDowell, a 44-year-old black man, was also arrested on suspicion of murder the day of the shooting, but he was released on July 19 after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges, Swain said.
“He was pretty forthright in saying he texted his niece to come over, because he wanted some extra support,” Swain said. “but there’s no indication he knew she was coming over with a gun.”
A week after he was released from jail, McDowell was stabbed outside his apartment, Swain said. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition but is expected to survive.
Investigators believe the suspect, described as a black male, was in McDowell’s home the night Davis was killed, Swain said, but it’s unclear if the stabbing was related to the shooting.
Both the shooting and the stabbing are still under investigation, Swain said. Anyone with information is asked to call Hawthorne homicide Dets. Kevin Pedersen or Derek Limbacher at (310) 349-2820. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.