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Friends, neighbors reeling after man killed outside Pasadena home

Victor McClinton, 49, a law enforcement technician who created a youth sports program that served hundreds of kids, was shot as he walked a holiday well-wisher and fellow coach to his car.

December 27, 2012|By Adolfo Flores and Daniel Siegal, Los Angeles Times
  • Victor McClinton, 49, was shot and killed outside his Pasadena home Christmas morning.
Victor McClinton, 49, was shot and killed outside his Pasadena home Christmas… ( )

Growing up without a father, Victor McClinton came to rely on and learn from athletic coaches during his adolescence. When he grew to an adult, those experiences pushed him to create a Pasadena youth sports program that served hundreds of kids.

Whether it was a matter of helping the shy kid on the bench to gain confidence, or helping to raise funds for a single mom who was evicted from her home, the 49-year-old Pasadena resident never stopped trying to help others, friends said.

At 11 o'clock on Christmas morning, the 18-year law enforcement technician was shot and killed outside his Pasadena home as he walked a holiday well-wisher and fellow coach to his car in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue.

According to the Pasadena Police Department, McClinton was struck by gunfire meant for a former gang member who was in the vicinity but not associated with McClinton or the visiting coach. The target of the shooting, whom police identified as Damion Taylor, 24, was struck and wounded.

"There's no indication to believe McClinton was involved in any type of activity that would warrant anyone to shoot him," said Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls.

Friends and neighbors were still reeling from the news of McClinton's death.

"I was overwhelmed with shock and grief that such a selfless man could be taken," said Glenn Crawford, 57, who coached in the Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League for 10 years. "It's just senseless. He would literally take the shirt off his back for you."

On Wednesday, a small memorial of votive candles and flowers was arranged on the sidewalk in front of McClinton's home.

Theresa Overing said she stopped by to bring food and offer her support to the family.

"Victor was one of the finest men, he stood taller than the rest," she said.

Overing, a Pasadena resident, said she got to know McClinton through the youth sports league he founded. Her three sons had played basketball there over the last 10 years.

"When you run [programs for] hundreds of kids every year, all on volunteer time, there are hundreds of families that have been impacted by Victor," Overing said.

Lorraine Valenzuela, McClinton's neighbor of seven years, said she was in her living room on Christmas Day when she heard the first shot. "I looked out the window and I saw him drop," she said.

Valenzuela said she heard about eight more shots as she ran to the back of her house.

"In general the area is nice," she said. "We've been hearing [gunshots] lately, though."

McClinton is survived by his wife, Shelly, and two adult sons, Kristian and Kameron, an official said. He was assigned to court services.

"He was an extraordinary employee," said Steve Whitmore, a Sheriff's Department spokesman. "We lost a member of our family. It's a tragic loss."

McClinton is a graduate of Verbum Dei High School and attended Pasadena City College, majoring in recreation and administration of justice, according to the program's website.

Authorities said they did not have any suspects in the case but were investigating whether there is a link to a second fatal incident that occurred later in the day in the same area.

Around 8 o'clock that evening, two people were killed when their minivan was struck by an SUV that was being chased by police. The pursuit began when an officer and an FBI special agent attempted to stop the car for a traffic violation, near the site of the shooting.

The pursuit lasted less than a minute and covered less than a mile before the collision at Marengo Avenue and Maple Street.

Tracey Ong Tan, 26, of Glendale and an 11-year-old child from Daly City, Calif., died in the collision. Three other Daly City residents who were in the minivan were taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, authorities said.

The driver of the SUV, Daryl Williams, 22, of Pasadena, was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and ordered held without bail, police said. The three other passengers in his vehicle, Jayda Mays, 18, of Pasadena; Brittany Washington, 21, of Los Angeles; and DeMauria Hannah, 22, of Pasadena, were also booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. During the pursuit, one of them discarded a loaded handgun that Pasadena police later recovered. All of the suspects sustained moderate injuries.

Shortly before being shot, McClinton wished his friends a merry Christmas on Facebook.

"Please let's not forget those less fortunate than us and those who have lost loved ones," he wrote. "Say a prayer for all. May God bless you in the upcoming year."

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