‘I don’t want to die, mommy,’ teen with special needs shot over shoes

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jun 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-02 17:10:12-04

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - Family members in South Los Angeles were mourning the loss Monday of a 19-year-old with special needs who was shot and killed at a car wash in front of his mother after she said he refused to give up his red shoes. Special needs teen shot over shoes KTLA2

The young man was shot multiple times on Friday morning near the intersection of Florence and 11th avenues in the Hyde Park area of South L.A.

He was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as Tavin Terrel Price, according to the L.A. Times.

His mother, Jennifer Rivers, said the incident began when someone told Price to take his shoes off.

"He didn't take them off, he ran to me, and then I said 'Let's go,'" she told KTLA. "And I was getting in the car. Before we can get in the car, the boy ran behind my car and shot him in the back twice and in the chest. " Special needs teen shot over shoes KTLA1

After hearing the gunshots, Rivers turned around and chased the fleeing gunman, but was unable to catch him. She then ran back to her youngest child, who told her he did not want to die.

"Watching my son beg me, 'Mommy, I don't want to die. I do not want to die, mommy. Help me,'" Rivers recalled, her voice choking up. "That's hard for me."

Price was rushed to a hospital where he died during surgery, a coroner's office official told the Los Angeles Times.

According to the man's family, Price was not involved in gangs. He was a fun, loving young man who "loved his family more than anything," said his cousin, Ceritha Daily. Special needs teen shot over shoes KTLA

On Monday, family and friends gathered at the car wash in remembrance of the slain teen, bringing flowers and balloons and carrying signs to honor Price.

They also sang happy birthday to celebrate what would have been his 20th birthday.

His family also expressed hope that the person who fatally shot Price will be arrested and brought to justice.

"I want to see them spend the rest of their life in jail and feel how our family feels right about now," Daily said.

The gunman was apparently caught on surveillance cameras in the area, but detectives have not released the video.

Anyone with information about the shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Read more from KTLA here.