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Boy Tells of Fatal Attack on Detective

February 11, 1988|LYNN STEINBERG | Times Staff Writer

A seventh-grade pupil at a Canoga Park church school testified Wednesday that he saw 6-year-old Ryan Williams sitting on the ground crying moments after the boy's father, a Los Angeles police detective, had been gunned down in the street on Oct. 31, 1985.

Thomas C. Williams, 42, was picking up Ryan from school at 5:40 p.m. when he was struck by eight bullets from an automatic weapon. The detective died, slumped against the driver's side of his orange pickup truck.

Michael Ting, 12, who testified in Van Nuys Superior Court on Wednesday at the murder trial of Daniel S. Jenkins and Ruben A. (Tony) Moss, said he heard several "extremely loud" noises as he left school with his mother the night of the shooting.

The noises sounded like firecrackers, he said, and they lasted about 10 seconds.

Michael said he looked toward Williams' truck, parked in front of the Faith Baptist Church school, and saw the windshield shatter.

"It split into pieces," Michael said. "Then I ducked. I couldn't see anything. I got up because I heard some little boy cry. I walked over. He was sitting on the ground and he was crying and he had a bloody lip. I took him to the kitchen."

Prosecutors said Ryan was climbing into the passenger side of his father's truck when the shots were fired. The shooting occurred a few hours after Williams testified at Jenkins' robbery trial. Authorities have called the slaying an act of vengeance.

Sandra Shinko, a teacher at the school at the time of the slaying, testified Wednesday that one of her students came running into her classroom after the shooting to tell her what happened.

"I went outside," Shinko said. "People were running back and forth, saying, 'Someone's been shot.' I said, 'Who is it?' They said it was Mr. Williams."

Jenkins, 32, and Moss, 26, are charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They face the death penalty, if convicted. They are being tried together, but will be judged by separate juries. The trial is expected to last another six months.

Three others--Duane Moody, 30; Voltaire Williams, 25; and Reecy Cooper, 33--also are charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They will be tried later.

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