Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Tow Truck Driver Fatally Shot After Repossessing A Car

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

A tow truck driver was gunned down in South Gate early Sunday morning after he repossessed a car.

Friends told NBC Los Angeles that his name was Steve Lawson, a tow driver in his 40s who lived in Bellflower, who was a father and a husband.

Lawson was towing a white Dodge Caliber that he had repossessed lawfully in Compton that tragic morning. Investigators believe he was targeted for the shooting because of the repossession. Authorities said he was followed by others in several cars, who shot at him around 3:30 a.m. near a 7-Eleven at Rosecrans Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. It's not clear whether he was hit, but Lawson continued driving 4.5 miles before slamming into another car at Firestone Boulevard and Rayo Avenue. (The people who were involved in the car crash were not involved in the shooting.) When Lawson got out of his car, deputies say that at least one suspect chased him and shot him. Witnesses said they heard about 10 or 12 shots fired.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Lawson was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he was pronounced dead at 4:23 a.m.

Support for LAist comes from

Investigators said they believe it was a "repossessing gone bad."

"I just want to give my condolences out there to him and his family. I love him," George Williams, a friend of Lawson's, told KTLA. "I was real close with him. A good dude. He was a real good dude."

Lawson's friends told NBC Los Angeles that he had recently started this new job at the repossession company.

Authorities are still investigating the details of the shooting. ABC 7 reported that two people, who may be witnesses, were taken into custody yesterday morning for questioning. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call the Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500.