Victim of Hyde Park hit-and-run mourned; suspect remains at large

Los Angeles police continued to search Tuesday for a man who was driving a car that hit and killed an 18-year-old in Hyde Park.

Markeis Parish was hit by a silver Mercedes-Benz around 6:15 p.m. Saturday as he crossed Crenshaw Boulevard at 78th Street, according to police reports. The driver was heading south toward 78th Street and did not stay at the scene after the collision.


Parish's mother, Lawana, who did not want to give her last name, said her son was on his way home from a  nearby store when the accident occurred. He had gone to get a snack, she said.

After being transported to a local hospital, Parish died from the injuries, police said.

A vigil was held in Parish's honor Sunday night. Family members are also planning and raising money for a "homegoing service" to be held when his body is released.

Parish was described by friends and family as an outgoing young man who enjoyed playing sports. Football was his favorite activity, according to his mother, but he loved to play basketball too.

"He loved his sports. When one sports time wore out, he'd find another sport to get into," his mother said. "He always stayed active, always stayed positive."

The Inglewood high school student played on school basketball teams beginning his freshman year, said Patrick Roy, head of the school's basketball program. Roy described him as a good player who could shoot well.

Last year, Parish's junior year, he was suspended from playing on the varisty team because his grades had slipped too low, but Parish worked hard to improve them, Roy said. Roy and his staff expected Parish to return to the team in the fall.

"He got his grades up this year and was definitely ready to play," Roy said.

Parish was just as passionate about his relationship with those at Zion Hill Baptist Church, which was near Parish's home. He attended services on some Sundays and played basketball there on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, said pastor Seth Pickens.

Pickens said he watched Parish develop and mature during such weeknight basketball games.

"I watched him come into his own," said Pickens, who began working at the church four years ago. "He was too young to get up there to dunk. Then he was up there dunking a basketball."

Both on and off the court, Parish was described as outgoing and funny. Roy said Parish could strike up a conversation with anyone.

Pickens said Parish had a lot of charisma and was like a "younger brother" to some of the older men, who played weeknight basketball at the church.

"He just really made you smile," Pickens said.