Ward, a resident of Victorville, had become lost in the Wilshire area and pulled into the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store to look up directions. Minutes before, two men in a silver Nissan Armada SUV had pulled up to the parking lot as well. After Ward drove up, the two men approached him and one of the men shot the 21-year-old for no apparent reason, according to the LAPD.
Ward drove “westbound on Venice Boulevard, broadsided a parked car, crashing into a building about a half a block away,” Det. Jose Robledo said.
Both suspects, caught on surveillance tape, fled in the Nissan Armada northbound on 12th Avenue.
(Video footage of the suspects arriving and leaving the scene of the crime is at http://www.lapdonline.org/newsroom/news_view/53939.
“Dejon Ward was murdered in broad daylight, in public. It could have been you looking over at your phone, looking for directions. Dejon Ward was a person who was murdered in the city of Los Angeles, and we have to bring some sense to this incident,” said Capt. Eric T. Davis.
Members of Ward’s family were also at the news conference and put a human face on the tragedy.
“We’re here just asking everyone for their help in trying to catch the people who did this. This has been a tragedy to our family. He was in school. He was doing everything he was supposed to do at 21 years old, and that was taken away from our family,” said Ward’s cousin Keisha Smith, fighting back tears.
Dejon Ward was “happy-go-lucky” and a family unifier who enjoyed helping kids. His dream was to play professional football, Smith said.
“Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact West Bureau Homicide Detectives, Detectives John Shafia or Jose Robledo at 213-382-9370. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts,” according to an LAPD news release.