Three charged in killing of 19-year-old in South L.A. over his red shoes

Jennifer Rivers

Surrounded by family, Jennifer Rivers, second from left, raises her arms in relief during the announcement by LAPD detectives of the multiple arrests made in the slaying of Rivers’ son Tavin Price, who was shot May 29 on West Florence Avenue.

(Christina House / For The Times)

Murder charges have been filed against three men suspected of killing a 19-year-old in South L.A. over his red shoes, police said Tuesday.

Dwight Smith, 30, and Kevin Johnson, 25, were arrested last week on suspicion of murder, said LAPD Det. Chris Barling. Murder charges were filed Friday against the two and an additional charge was filed against 27-year-old Kanasho Johns




An earlier version of this post incorrectly gave suspect Kanasho Johns’ name as Kanasho Jones.


Johns was taken into custody Tuesday near Houston on a murder warrant, Barling said. Antheyst Jarrett, 27, who was arrested the day of the killing, is also facing charges of witness intimidation and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the shooting.

Tavin Price was at a car wash in the 3000 block of West Florence Avenue on May 29 about 11 a.m. when he went to a smoke shop to buy a soda. Inside the shop, he was confronted by two men who asked about his gang affiliation because he was wearing red shoes.


Police said Price ignored the men and walked back to his mother and a family friend who were finishing up at the car wash.

As Price stood in front of his mother, he was shot, police said.

On Tuesday, as investigators announced the suspects’ names at a news conference, Price’s mother wept. Jennifer Rivers told reporters she goes to the cemetery every day to visit her son’s grave.

She said she still hears his last words in her mind.

“Mommy, am I going to be all right? Mommy, am I going to be OK?” she said.

Rivers, who wore red Converse shoes at the news conference, said she was relieved about the arrests and charges and is prepared for the upcoming judicial process.

“I am ready,” she said. “Every day they go to court, I’ll be there.”

A $50,000 reward was introduced last week in Price’s killing and is expected to be voted on Wednesday. City Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he hopes the money will inspire more witnesses to come forward and bring justice to the family.


“Nothing brings closure when you lose a loved one,” Parks said.

For more news on L.A. homicides, follow @nicolesantacruz.

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