Two Men Found Guilty For Killing Teen Over Color Of His Shoes

Two men were found guilty of first degree murder on Monday for killing a special-needs teenager in South Los Angeles, apparently over the color of his shoes, reports KABC.

Both 29-year-old Kanasho Johns and 26-year-old Kevin Deon Johnson were first accused of killing 19-year-old Tavin Price back in June 2015. Another man named Dwight Smith, who was also involved in the homicide, pleaded guilty to manslaughter this August.

The incident happened on June 1, 2015, when Price and his mother—Jennifer Rivers—were waiting for her car to pass through a car-wash near the corner of Florence and Crenshaw Boulevards. Price walked over to a nearby shop to buy cigarettes and a soda. Inside, he was confronted by both Smith and Johnson, who accused him of representing a rival Bloods gang. Price was wearing red Chuck Taylor sneakers, a color historically worn by those in Bloods affiliated gangs. Startled, Price replied "I don't bang" and left the shop, according to City News Service.

Price returned to Rivers and told her what had just happened, according to the L.A. Times. About ten minutes later, Rivers watched as a man in a black sweatshirt—Johns—approached Price and once again confronted him over the color of his shoes. Rivers and Price asserted that Price was not affiliated with any gang in any way whatsoever, but the man opened fire and shot Price four times.

Price dropped to the ground and was later rushed to a nearby hospital. Doctors pronounced him dead while conducting emergency surgery. In the seconds after her son was shot, Rivers attempted to chase down the shooter, though he managed to escape.

Though Price had a mental disability which, according to his mother, rendered him with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, he was excited to begin a new warehouse job that was scheduled to begin just a few days after he was killed. He would have turned 20 on the same week as well.

Johns and Johnson are scheduled to be sentenced on November 30. They each face 50 years to life in prison. Smith will be sentenced later in October and faces up to 12 years in prison.