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Slain Youth's Mother Offers $5,000 Reward : Crime: Between 50 and 80 people were at a taco stand when Yahrou Proctor was killed, but no one has come forward with information.

March 08, 1992|VICKI TORRES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LA PUENTE — The distraught--and frustrated--mother of an 18-year-old youth who was shot and killed Feb. 8 at a La Puente taco stand is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her son's killer.

Between 50 and 80 customers were at the Boca del Rio Taco stand on Hacienda Boulevard at 11 p.m. Feb. 8 when Yahrou Proctor, a West Covina High School senior, was slain. Yet no one has come forward with information about the shooting, officials said.

"It's hopeless and feels helpless when people don't help to make it a better place and see that people don't get away with things like this," said the victim's mother, Lois Motley, 41, of La Puente.

Motley said she is offering the reward in the hope that someone, even an anonymous tipster, will help solve her son's murder.

"I will not rest until this person is caught, if it takes me the rest of my life to do this," she said.

Proctor went to the taco stand with friends after a Saturday night party and was confronted by a youth believed to be a gang member, Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide investigators said. After words were exchanged, Proctor was shot and his assailant fled.

The murdered youth was not a gang member, his mother said. Investigators agree, but said Proctor's killer might have mistaken him for one.

Since her son's death, Motley has distributed flyers about the reward and has sought support from city officials and religious leaders in her drive to urge witnesses to come forward.

She also seeks safety improvements at the stand at 1163 N. Hacienda Blvd., where another teen-ager was killed a year ago in a similar shooting.

Torray Nelson, 15, of Valinda, was slain Feb. 8, 1991. In January, Clifford Oliver, 20, of Valinda, was convicted of Nelson's murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The two killings indicate that the Boca del Rio owner is ignoring a dangerous situation, Motley said. Owner Deuk Shin should install more lights in the parking lot, station a security guard there and limit the hours of operation, she said. "Kids loiter around there at all hours," Motley said. "It's dark in the back of the parking lot, and I've seen kids consuming beer in their cars."

But William Kim, who spoke on Shin's behalf, blamed conditions on the neighborhood.

Because the area is slated for redevelopment, it has many vacant properties--including one empty car dealership lot next to Shin's property--that attract loitering youths.

Taco stand employees routinely call police when large crowds gather, but Kim said they are helpless to do more. Kim said a security guard will soon be patrolling the stand and its lot, but the hours of operation will remain the same: Saturdays until 2 a.m. Sunday and midnight on other nights.

"The area is a tough area," Kim said. "The restaurant is not the problem."

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