The Deaths of the Los Angeles Riots

John H. Willers

John H. Willers, a 37-year-old white man, was shot and killed Wednesday, April 29, 1992, in the 10600 block of North Sepulveda Boulevard in Mission Hills. The tile-setter, who was working at a Mission Hills supermarket with his Salt Lake City-based construction crew, was gunned down outside the motel where he was staying. The crew members had stayed up that night watching riot coverage on television. Around 10:45 p.m., they heard the sound of cars colliding outside the motel -- the conclusion of a chase in which, according to police, three people in one car pursued two robbery suspects in another. The crash brought many of the motel guests out onto the street. Willers stayed outside until the injured motorists were taken away by ambulance. According to co-workers, he returned to his room but decided to go back out half an hour later. Shots rang out, and he was found dead in the middle of the street. "He was caught up in the moment when the city was erupting," said Det. Woodrow Parks of the LAPD's Foothill Division. "It probably was a riot-related thing."

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times