Jayren Bradford, a clerk at Shoe Palace in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, was killed Wednesday after trying to break up a fight outside the store. A memorial has been set up outside the store in his honor.
Police were called to 7725 Melrose Ave. a little after 12:30 PM and found Bradford, 26, in the street, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital where he passed away.
According to witnesses, Bradford was just trying to diffuse an argument over a shoe raffle outside of the store when he was shot. Witnesses say that people in the crowd started to overturn tables and chairs that had been set up for the raffle. Cellphone footage shows Bradford being swarmed by the crowd before someone draws a gun and shoots.
“Jay came from his car and he confronted them saying, ‘What’s the problem? What’s the deal?’ Then everybody shifted their aggression towards Jay.,” said Keyshawn Williams, Bradford’s coworker. “And they were here with other friends, so they all surrounded him and that’s when he was shot.
The fight was between a group of men and women who all wanted the same pair of shoes. Jayren Bradford lost his life over a new $110 pair of Nikes. This particular brand of Nikes has not been released in stores yet, but it is currently selling online for $150.
Police say that the suspect in question escaped from the scene in a silver Toyota Camry with a temporary license plate number BC10D32. He appeared to be a Latino man in his 20s and wore dark clothing as he traveled northbound on Genesee Avenue.
The area between Melrose and Genesee Ave. was blocked off following the shooting so police could investigate the scene and look for the gunman. That search didn’t come up with any leads, but police are still actively looking for the suspect. Wednesday’s shooting took place on a very active part of the district with many boutiques.
Jayren Bradford had only been working at the Shoe Palace for a couple months before he was killed. He liked his job and seemed to be well-liked by both customers and fellow staff.
“He was an outgoing peer who always wanted to make friends so once I got here, he made me feel welcome like this is somewhere you want to be.” Williams said.
Bradford was originally from Colorado and is survived by his mother and brother. He had just moved to the area last year and lived down the street from the store. He was working at the shoe store while also pursuing his dreams of becoming a musician.
Police are currently reviewing surveillance footage. They are hoping to identify the gunman. They are asking anyone with information to contact the West Bureau homicide investigators at 213-382-9470 or anonymously call L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.