Mentally Challenged Teen Shot Dead for Wearing Wrong Color Shoes

Tavin Price
Tavin Price


*How do we wrap our brain around something this senseless? When will we as a society, and as a race, learn that if WE don’t take black lives seriously, neither will anyone else?

The last words his mother would hear him say, before he was gunned down in front of her, would be the plea, “Mommy, don’t let me die!”

Tavin Price, a 19-year-old mentally challenged man, was killed in South Los Angeles because he wore the wrong colored tennis shoes.

His mother, Jennifer Rivers, who spoke to NBCLA 4,  said her son was gunned down Friday morning outside of a car wash because he wore red shoes into a store.

Mourners set up a memorial decorated with balloons as they sang “Happy Birthday” in honor of his upcoming 20th birthday.

“Some guys, he said, told him to take off his tennis shoes. He told him he wasn’t taking off his shoes, he wasn’t a gangbanger. He came back to the car and told me. I immediately put the nozzle down and told him let’s go because I didn’t want no problems,” Rivers recalled.

Rivers says before they could leave, the shooter rushed toward them.

“He ran up on my son and shot him in the back and then he shot him twice in the chest,” Rivers said.

A gunman wearing a light colored hoodie “approached the victim, shot him multiple times and then fled the location,” Det. Eric Crosson of the Criminal Gang Homicide Division told NBCLA 4.

Rivers says she can’t help but think of her son’s dying words: “Mommy please. I don’t want to die. Mommy please.”

“How vicious can you be to just kill someone’s son right in front of your face?” Rivers said.

“Just took my son’s life like that. I want that guy to be caught. Whoever it is, I want him to go to jail,” she said.

The gunman is still at large.



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