Christopher Taylor, 19
Died June 14, 2008 at 4:05 a.m.
According to a neighbor,Taylor and a friend were leaning against a car, text-messaging on their cellphones, when a vehicle drove up next to them. A person from inside the car said "what's up homie," then began shooting, hitting Taylor at least once in the head. The neighbor, Tanesha Burson, 32, said she ran out and saw Taylor's mother holding him. "She kept screaming, 'My son, my son.'"
Burson ran down the street to a fire station and told firefighters about the shooting. Then she returned and held Taylor's mother while firefighters treated Taylor.
Paramedics took Christopher Taylor to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His friend, wounded in the leg, was also hospitalized and recovered. Burson said she visited Taylor's friend at the hospital, and that he told her the shooter was a black man.
Taylor was raised in Ohio by his father. He attended and graduated from high school in Ohio, then came to Los Angeles to live with his mother, according to Burson. She said Taylor had only been in Los Angeles for a year and had recently taken his girlfriend to her high school prom.
"That's his prom picture," Burson said, glancing at his memorial shrine.
Taylor was employed at Tak's Garden Supplies at 12th Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard. The store owner said Taylor had worked there for a few months. He said Taylor was a good kid and a good worker, but could not say anything further because he did not know him too well. "Out of all people," said a co-worker at the store.
"He was just minding his own business," another neighbor said.
On Monday, drivers in the neighborhood would slow down to glance at the shrine. "He didn't gang-bang, he was a good kid," Burson said.
Update: Christopher Taylor's mother, Angel Taylor, 37, said she never touched her son after he was shot. Angel said she was afraid to hurt her son by moving him. Instead, Angel said she started punching the rear window of her parked truck. Her fiance, Richard Chong, 48, tried to keep Christopher awake by talking to him. Questioned whether any other details from Burson was incorrect, Angel Taylor said no. "That's how it happened," she said over the phone.
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Updated: Jan. 25, 2010 at 3:32 p.m.