The brother of famed attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. was found shot to death on a sidewalk in the Jefferson Park area of central Los Angeles, officials said Tuesday.
Police said the body of Ralonzo Phelectron Cochran, 43, was found in a residential area in the 2600 block of South Manhattan Place at about 2 a.m. Sunday. The victim, known to his family and friends as "Phlecky," lived about five blocks away.
Homicide investigators said he had been shot several times.
"The circumstances surrounding the shooting are not known," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement released Tuesday night. "There are no suspects in custody."
Sources close to the case said Ralonzo Cochran had led a sometimes troubled life that included problems with drugs.
Whether drugs had anything to do with the shooting is "still a matter of speculation and conjecture," his brother-in-law, retired Sheriff's Department Chief of Detectives Bill Baker, said Tuesday night.
Baker, who ran unsuccessfully in the primary race for sheriff this year, described the victim as a "nice guy" who had worked at a variety of jobs.
"He worked in the computer technology field, in construction and for a mortuary," Baker said. He did not know whether the victim was employed at the time of his death.
Johnnie Cochran was en route from New York to Los Angeles on Tuesday night and could not be reached for comment.
The attorney, the host of a show for Court TV in New York, became internationally famous as defense attorney for former football star O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in 1995 of murder charges in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald L. Goldman.
Johnnie Cochran worked as a deputy city attorney and assistant district attorney before establishing his lucrative and influential private law practice. He served as chairman of the Los Angeles Airport Commission from 1981 to 1993.