Nineteen-year-old Tavin Price and his mother, Jennifer Rivers, stopped at a South Los Angeles car wash Friday on their way to the beach. Rivers began vacuuming out the car. Price, who had special needs, went inside to buy some cigarettes.
A man told Price to take off his red shoes because the color is associated with the notorious Bloods gang in the neighborhood. Price told the man he wasn't in a gang and left the store. As Price and his mother gathered their things to leave, the man reportedly shot Price four times. Price suffered gunshot wounds to his back and chest and later died during surgery.
"All I can see is my son's eyes rolling to the back of his head, grabbing my arm right here, saying, 'Mommy, I don't want to die. Mommy, please don't let me die,' " Rivers told CBS Los Angeles.
Price was small for his age, standing 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighing only 99 pounds, according to family who spoke with the news station.
"[It's] senseless," his sister Nisha Canson told KABC. "He looked like a kid. He looks like a 13-year-old kid. Why would you do that?"
On Monday, Price would have turned 20, so friends and family sang "Happy Birthday" and released balloons during a vigil for him at the car wash where he was shot down.
Los Angeles police have arrested a woman they believe was with the man who shot and killed Price. She has been charged with aiding and abetting, according to CBS Los Angles.
Police are reviewing surveillance footage from the car wash to try to identify the gunman. The family hopes the person who took Price's life turns himself in.
"I want him to live miserably for the rest of his life," Ceritha Daily, Price's cousin, told CBS Los Angeles. "Because we['re] going to live miserably for the rest of our lives."