Man Accused of Fatally Shooting Tavin Price Over Shoes to Make First Court Appearance
The man accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Tavin Price at a car wash because of the color of his shoes and clothing was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, according to the county District Attorney’s Office.
Kanasho Johns, 27, was arrested on June 23 at his Houston, Texas, home and extradited to L.A., where he faced charges of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the killing, the DA’s office stated in a news release.
Johns was identified in the release as the suspected gunman by Deputy DA Bobby Zoumberakis.
The victim was with his mother and a family friend at Simms Car Wash in the South L.A. neighborhood of Hyde Park on May 29 when he walked to a nearby smoke shop and came across Dwight Kevin Smith, 30, and Kevin Deon Johnson, 24, who are both co-defendants in the case, according to the release.
Smith allegedly confronted Price and asked him if he belonged to a gang because of his red shirt and shoes, prosecutors said. Price responded he wasn’t and walked back to the car wash.
Johns then approached the victim and allegedly shot him, according to the release.
Price’s mother, Jennifer Rivers, told KTLA last month at a vigil for her son that she witnessed the shooting. She said that someone had told Price to take his shoes off prior to being shot.
The young man, who was described by Rivers as “mentally challenged,” was taken to California Hospital where he later died.
Authorities announced the arrests of Johns, Smith and Johnson at a news conference on June 23.
A fourth person, 27-year-old Antheyst Jarrett, was arrested during an initial investigation on suspicion of witness intimidation and being an accessory after the fact, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The two suspects who confronted Price before the fatal shooting have been charged with one count each of murder. Smith and Johnson entered not guilty pleas last month and were scheduled to return to court next Monday for a preliminary hearing, according to the DA’s office.
If convicted on the charges, the three men face a possible maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison, prosecutors said.