The Deaths of the Los Angeles Riots

Charles W. Orebo

Charles Orebo, a 21-year-old black man, was shot and killed Friday, May 1, 1992, near the intersection of Florence Avenue and Flower Street in Florence. Charles "Sticks" Orebo and two friends, Andre Webb and Lavelle "Frog" Williams were driving toward a South Los Angeles house where Webb planned to spend the night. Near Florence Avenue and the 110 Freeway, Orebo tried to make a lane change, nearly cutting off a car behind him. The other driver honked and pulled alongside at a stoplight. Williams drew a handgun, loaded it and pointed it past Orebo toward the other driver, an LAPD officer who was out of uniform and en route to work. "The guy looked at us," Webb said, "and he jumped like he was in shock. Then he pulled up his gun. . . . Then he shot like three times and hit Sticks." Orebo, mortally wounded, punched the accelerator. The car lurched into a wall and caught fire. Orebo, a dropout and the father of a 4-year-old son, had planned to get married the next month and become an auto mechanic, said his mother, Georgia Alfred. He had been jailed a couple of times for traffic tickets and other small offenses, she said. "But nothing violent. No guns or anything like that." Alfred said her son and Williams watched the verdicts in the King beating case together and were angry, "but he wasn't going out beating anyone or carrying a gun." "From what I gathered, my son didn't know [Williams] had the gun until he pulled it up," she said. "I'm angry, but I'm angry with the young man."

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times