Relatives of a man killed at a private party after Monday's Soul Train Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium painted a picture Wednesday of a man who showed up at the event "to have a nice time" and ended up dying after being stomped.
Kelly Jamerson, 28, of South-Central Los Angeles apparently died of head wounds suffered when he was kicked and beaten inside the El Rey Theater in the 5500 block of Wilshire Boulevard early Tuesday. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Jamerson was attending the invitation-only party sponsored by Death Row Records, an independent rap record label that features artists Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre, both of whom have sold millions of records.
An argument broke out as the event was ending. Snoop Doggy Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, and his group, the Dogg Pound, had just finished performing before a frenzied crowd. Broadus and members of his entourage were leaving when a commotion started on the dance floor of the theater and people began to scatter. Los Angeles police said words were exchanged between some men in the crowd and a fight ensued.
Detective L. J. Jones of the Wilshire Division said, "A friend of Mr. Jamerson's was involved in a fight and he intervened to help the friend."
Jones said at least eight to 10 people stomped Jamerson, who tried a few times to stand up and reach the entrance of the theater. During the beating, chairs were thrown at him, and Jamerson, bleeding profusely, scrambled to reach the front door, but collapsed.
"There were so many people stomping and hitting him that no one would help him," said a family member who witnessed some of the beating but refused to give her name.
She said she was unaware that it was Jamerson who was being beaten until she saw his body lying close to the front door of the theater.
"You had to take a really good look at him to recognize it was Kelly," she said. "We knew what clothes he had on."
Jones said police hope that friends of Jamerson or witnesses who saw the fight will come forward with more information.
The detective would neither confirm nor deny that the incident was gang-related.
According to his longtime girlfriend, Jamerson, a roofer, worked hard to support their two children, a 1-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. She said Jamerson was a coach for his son's T-ball baseball team. She described him as a small man, about 5 feet, 4 inches tall.
Representatives from Death Row Records said the incident was not related to any of the artists signed to the record label. George Pryce, media representative for Death Row, said he was escorting Broadus and other members of his company to their cars when the incident broke out.
"We want to send our condolences to the family," Pryce said. "But Mr. Jamerson was not on any of our guest lists."
Family members said Jamerson had been invited to the party by a friend.
"He definitely was on the guest list and was a friend of the deejay" who was playing records at the party, said a relative of Jamerson's who refused to give her name.
Pryce said Death Row Records provided added security for the invitation-only party in an attempt to ensure that violence did not occur.