Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives on Wednesday night were investigating the killing of a man in South Los Angeles.
Deputies responded about 7:30 p.m. to a shooting in the 121000 block of S. Vermont Avenue, where they found a man who had been shot multiple times, Sheriff’s Lt. Barry Hall said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man was standing on a sidewalk or in a driveway on Vermont Avenue when he was shot, Hall said. Authorities had no suspect descriptions Wednesday night.
Detectives were cataloguing numerous shell casings at the scene and canvassing the area for surveillance footage, Hall said.
Authorities had yet to identify the man Wednesday night, but the victim’s relatives, who had gathered near the scene of the shooting, named him as Jaequan Aldredge, 42.
His cousin, Sherod Johnson, said he could think of no reason why Aldredge may have been targeted. Aldredge had been affiliated with a gang as a young man, Johnson said, but he had put those associations behind him after spending a decade in prison and having three children.
“The bottom line,” said another cousin, Cardell Overstreet, “is he wasn’t any participant in any gang affiliation, in any beef. As of today, 2021, he had absolutely no affiliation. None.”
Johnson described his cousin as a quiet man, “but if he got to know you, he’d open up,” he said. “He was a jokester.” Aldredge, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, was a diehard Lakers and Dodgers fan, his cousin added.
Aldredge grew up near the intersection of Vermont Avenue and 117th Street, playing Little League baseball at Helen Keller Park, his cousin said, before moving with his family to Hawthorne and attending Leuzinger High School in nearby Lawndale.
Johnson said Aldredge, after being shot in his teens and spending 10 years behind bars for armed robbery, seemed dazed and withdrawn when he returned from prison in 2007. He seemed to be suffering from some type of post-traumatic stress disorder, Johnson said, and had recently finished a mental health treatment program.
Aldredge had been living at his grandmother’s house — steps from where he was killed Wednesday — as she slowly succumbed to pancreatic cancer, Johnson said. Johnson and Overstreet attended her funeral with their cousin just last week, they said.
Overstreet said he had reviewed surveillance footage from Aldredge’s grandmother’s home. The tape, he said, shows at least three young men exit a red Chevrolet sedan and open fire.
Aldredge “wasn’t doing anything,” Overstreet said. “He wasn’t walking up the street, throwing gang signs. And these animals still pulled up and did what they did.”
“What’s the cliche? Live by the sword, die by the sword. Live by the gun, die by the gun. Well, this isn’t that,” he continued. “It’s the environment — the environment is so foul, and nobody cares. ’Cause somebody’s going to get killed here tomorrow.”
The Sheriff’s Department’s South Los Angeles station, whose jurisdiction includes the area where Aldredge was killed, recorded seven homicides through the first two months of this year, compared to one homicide in the same period last year, according to statistics published by the Sheriff’s Department. Figures for March and April have not yet been made public.
Countywide, the Sheriff’s Department registered 60 homicides in the first two months of this year, compared to 21 homicides in the same period last year.