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Gunman kills man outside Melrose Avenue shoe store and flees in Toyota

A Los Angeles Police Department logo on car
(Los Angeles Times)

Jayren Bradford aspired to be a musician, but like a lot of budding artists in L.A. he had a day job to pay the bills — selling shoes at a Shoe Palace outlet on Melrose Avenue.

When a confrontation broke out around midday Wednesday at a shoe raffle being held outside the store, the 26-year-old tried to defuse the situation, his co-workers told KTLA news.

But the peacemaker instead became a victim when at least seven people confronted him on the street, one firing a single shot that sent Bradford crumpling to the asphalt, according to friends and a mobile phone video first played on KTLA-TV Channel 5. He died at a local hospital.

Police are looking for a gunman in dark clothing who fired the lone shot, or anyone else with information about the shooting. Detectives also asked the public to be on watch for the getaway car, a silver Toyota Camry with a temporary license plate, BC10D32.

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Detectives said the LAPD responded about 12:30 p.m. to the shooting, which followed a dispute among a group of “males and females” outside the shoe store, three blocks east of Fairfax Avenue.

Co-workers described Bradford as outgoing and friendly, always trying to connect with new people. He reportedly arrived as the dispute already had begun outside the shoe store.

“Jay came from his car and he confronted them saying, ‘What’s the problem? What’s the deal?’ Then everybody shifted their aggression towards Jay,” co-worker Keyshawn Williams told KTLA. “And they were here with other friends, so they all surrounded him and that’s when he was shot.”

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the LAPD’s West Bureau homicide investigators at (213) 382-9470. During nonbusiness hours or on weekends, call (877) 527-3247.

Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.

Times staff writer James Rainey and City News Service contributed to this report.


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