A night of partying took a deadly turn in Glendale when a 25-year-old man was fatally shot over insults directed at an 18-year-old woman he'd met hours earlier, police said.
Police said they believe the woman, identified as Napa resident Dezerea Lyons, orchestrated the attack through phone calls and text messages to her two male friends who later showed up with guns.
Less than 24 hours after the shooting, Glendale police arrested Lyons, as well as the suspected gunmen — Suisun City resident Laquan Parker, 24, and Stockton resident Brandon Perkins, 26 — on suspicion of murder, said Glendale Police Sgt. Robert William.
On Friday night, the victim, identified as Phillip Niles Jr., was out with friends in Los Angeles, where he met Lyons and her friend. Eventually, the group moved the party to a Glendale apartment in the 1700 block of North Verdugo Road, where Lyons felt insulted by comments made by Niles, a recent Los Angeles transplant from Daytona Beach, Fla. What he said was not clear.
"You don't know me," she told him, according to police. "You don't know what I'm capable of."
After Lyons sent some text messages and made phone calls, the two men arrived, and she grabbed her friend and left the apartment. Niles walked them out.
Outside, the two gunmen were waiting.
Lyons and her friend — who investigators say was not involved in the attack — climbed into the car, while Perkins and Parker reportedly confronted Niles.
Just before 4 a.m. Saturday, neighbors heard the gunfire.
Investigators are working to determine who pulled the trigger.
With multiple gunshot wounds, Niles ran a short distance before collapsing on the front lawn of a home in the 1600 block of The Midway Street, William said.
When police arrived, Niles was dead.
His friends, meanwhile, thought he'd gone home.
Investigators spent hours canvassing the neighborhood, searching for leads.
"They went from not knowing the victim, to a complete 'whodunit' case, to seriously putting some good work into it," William said.
Detectives discovered that the two men jumped in the car and fled to a Comfort Inn in Monrovia, where they had rented a room. Lyons' friend had reportedly asked Parker and Perkins to let her go, but they held her against her will. Police also arrested the men on suspicion of false imprisonment. The friend eventually made it home.
The trio was arrested Saturday after investigators spotted the friends walking out of the Monrovia hotel. Police reportedly recovered two handguns from the car. Each suspect was being held in lieu of $2-million bail.
Tchekmedyian writes for Times Community News.