2 Men Charged With Fatally Shooting Former Gang Member in South L.A.; Family Said Victim Had Turned His Life Around

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Garry Dorton is shown in an undated photo provided by his family on Aug. 15, 2018.

Garry Dorton is shown in an undated photo provided by his family on Aug. 15, 2018.

Two men have been charged with the fatal shooting of a gang interventionist of South Los Angeles, officials said on Wednesday.

Brandon Dixon, 24, and Dejone Wright, 20, are accused of firing shots outside a residence on the 4500 block of Van Ness Boulevard in South L.A. on July 1, killing Garry Dorton, 58, and wounding another.

Dorton was a father of five kids. His grandmother asked him to move to a safer area, but Dorton was adamant on staying in South L.A. to help the community he loved, his family members said in a press conference in August.

Loved ones described him as a man who dedicated much of his life to inspiring others to stay away from gang violence.

Dixon and Wright were charged with one count of murder in the death of Dorton, four counts of premeditated murder, one count of assault with a firearm and one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, a DA’s press release said.

Wright additionally faces one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A third alleged attacker who was with them during the incident has also been charged in juvenile court. He is charged with one count of murder, four counts of attempted murder, one count of assault with a firearm and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle.

Dixon was allegedly driving the juvenile and Wright during the day of the incident, Deputy District Attorney Loius Morin said. He parked outside the residence on the 4500 block of Van Ness Boulevard, then Wright and the juvenile allegedly opened fire on a group of people.

Those shot included two victims inside of a car in front of the home and three victims who were standing next to it, including Dorton and the other man who was injured.

Even though Dorton’s family said he had turned his life around, investigators believe the former gang member still might’ve been targeted.

However, Police Department Capt. Peter Whittingham said there was nothing in the investigation to indicate Dorton provoked the suspects.

If convicted as charged, Dixon may face a maximum sentence of 333 years to life in state prison and Wright may face 219 years to life in prison .

Dixon was held on an $8 million bail and Wright was held on a $7 million bail.

Both Dixon and Wright have been convicted for other charges before, prosecutors said.

Dixon was convicted in September 2014 of one count of first-degree residential burglary, and Wright was convicted in November 2016 of possessing a concealed firearm, the DA’s office said.

The pair was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

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