15 Killed by Violence in Days Before Christmas : Crime: Shootings and stabbings keep police busy, but not as busy as usual, a spokesman says.


A spate of pre-Christmas violence in Los Angeles County over the weekend kept homicide detectives and medical examiners busy Monday investigating 15 killings--among them a Compton man gunned down on his way home from church, a man stabbed during a dice game in Koreatown and a tenant allegedly stabbed to death by his apartment manager.

The most recent murder took place early Monday morning, when a 31-year-old Long Beach man was shot to death while he stood in a telephone booth at a Shell gasoline station on Paramount Boulevard in North Long Beach.

Authorities said the victim, Darrell Harris, was inside the phone booth about 12:25 a.m. when a gunman drove up, got out of his car, fired one shot and sped away. Harris was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition to Monday’s homicide, there were nine violent deaths on Sunday and five on Saturday, according to Bob Dambacher, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. The weekend killings included five shootings, four stabbings and a bludgeoning death, he said. A robbery suspect was shot to death by police; details on the remaining three cases were unavailable.


“It wasn’t nearly as bad as many weekends we’ve seen,” Dambacher said, adding that his office has investigated as many as 30 homicides in a three-day period. “We are not as busy as we usually are, but we are busy.”

Among Sunday’s homicide victims was Dennis D. Jamerson, a 25-year-old Compton man killed in the parking lot of his church by a gunman who stole his car. Jamerson had just left a service at Calvary Immanuel Church at 6:25 p.m. Sunday when he was confronted by the gunman, according to Compton Police Lt. M.D. Bunton.

Witnesses told police that the man shot Jamerson twice in the chest and drove off in the victim’s car, a 1963 Chevrolet Impala. The victim died 50 minutes later at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, Bunton said.

Also on Sunday, Los Angeles police shot and killed a robbery suspect outside a South-Central Los Angeles market. The man had pointed a loaded .38-caliber handgun at five officers, police said. Mark Williams, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other suspects were taken into custody.


In the Westlake district, west of downtown Los Angeles, a landlord-tenant dispute resulted in the stabbing death of a 29-year-old man who had complained about noise and broken windows at his apartment. The victim, Herbert Osorio, died of chest wounds. Police were seeking the manager of the building.

In Koreatown on Sunday, 30-year-old Rene Sosa was stabbed to death in a park after a dispute over a dice game. And a 22-year-old Reseda man was stabbed to death after a dispute Sunday night with several men in the parking lot of the Moscow Night restaurant on Sherman Way. Authorities arrested William S. Manciano, a 26-year-old computer programmer, and booked him on suspicion of murder.

On Saturday, a drive-by shooting left an unidentified 16-year-old boy dead in Huntington Park. In South-Central Los Angeles, a 34-year-old woman was found bludgeoned to death. In View Park, a 46-year-old man was stabbed to death after an argument with his former roommate.

A 32-year-old woman and 45-year-old man were shot to death in El Sereno Saturday inside the garment factories they owned. Police suspect the motive arose from a love triangle among Vietnamese immigrants. Detectives are looking for the woman’s husband.