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Victims' Families, LAPD Ask for Help in Solving Homicide Cases

November 30, 2005|Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writer

Families of seven homicide victims appeared with Los Angeles police detectives Tuesday and asked for the public's help in closing investigations they described as unending sources of anguish.

There have been 455 homicides in the city of Los Angeles this year, 48 in the 12-square-mile Southwest patrol division, which includes the areas around USC and north of Baldwin Hills.

The news conference was one of many the LAPD periodically calls to draw attention to old cases in hopes of jogging memories. The killings highlighted by the department took place between Nov. 18, 1999, and June 8, 2005.

Mario Donaldson, 38, had parked his car after dropping off his brother at their home in the 2900 block of Cochran Avenue early on June 10, 2005, when a lone gunman approached on foot and shot him multiple times. Donaldson was pronounced dead a short time later at a hospital.

Police believe the suspect in the Donaldson case had fired several bullets into the car of Fisher Alford Ford Jr., 56, on the same street two days earlier. Ford recovered from bullet wounds.

Edgar Chavez's wife and children watched helplessly from their car Jan. 14, 2005, as he was felled by gunfire while opening a gate at the family home on West Boulevard. Chavez, 29, died at a hospital.

Devron Lavell Lewis, a 28-year-old supervisor with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was fatally wounded by gang members in a car-to-car shooting on Jefferson Boulevard near Sycamore Avenue on March 28, 2003.

On May 26 of that year, Joi Douglas died in the stairwell of an apartment building in the 1700 block of West Vernon Avenue after being shot by an unknown gunman.

In December, Michael Dwayne Sapp, 47, was waiting for a bus on Vernon Avenue when he was fatally shot by an unknown assailant.

Frank Antonio Perry III was shot to death in his car by two people on April 2, 2001, in the 4900 block of Rodeo Road.

His female passenger was wounded.

And on the night of Nov. 18, 1999, Fernando Melendez, 20, was walking alone in the 3900 block of Denker Avenue when he was chased into a backyard and fatally shot. Police obtained a blood sample from a possible suspect but have no witnesses.

Anyone with information on one of these cases is asked to call the Southwest detectives division at (213) 485-2417.

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