Slain youth sports director recalled as ‘one of the finest men’

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An L.A. County Sheriff’s Department employee and youth sports coach who was fatally shot on Christmas Day -- apparently hit by a stray bullet -- was recalled by friends and neighbors as a dedicated volunteer.

On Wednesday, a small memorial of votive candles and flowers was set out on the sidewalk in front of the home of Victor McClinton, 49, an 18-year law enforcement technician who died in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue in Pasadena.

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 Brotherhood Community youth sports league he founded. Her three sons had played basketball there over the last ten 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 said McClinton had been friendly and helpful for the seven years she lived next door to him.

Valenzuela said she was in her living room on Christmas Day when she heard the first shot. She said she turned and looked out the window.

‘I looked out the window and I saw him drop,’ she said.

McClinton had been talking to a friend, she said.

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

‘In general the area is 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, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department. ‘We lost a member of our family. It’s a tragic loss.’

It’s believed McClinton was struck by stray bullets, Whitmore said, referring requests for additional information to the Pasadena Police Department. No other information about the shooting was available.


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Map shows location of Tuesday’s shooting in purple, as well as 29 other homicides (in red) since January 2007. Credit: Homicide Report