Murder of the 19-year-old Son of a United States Army National Guard Member
Sheriff Lee Baca, Homicide Bureau Detectives, and family members gathered at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building today to plead for the public’s assistance in obtaining any information regarding the senseless murder of a 19-year-old high school student.
Michael Owens was brutally gunned down on January 26, 2009 as he walked home from school at 2:15 in the afternoon between 132nd Street and Riddle Avenue in the city of Compton. He normally took the bus to go home but had spent his money on lunch that fateful day. “We believe that the shooting was gang motivated in retaliation of the shooting of two male blacks, two days earlier,” said Sheriff Baca. Michael was not a gang member and was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of two rival Compton gangs.
Detectives learned that this act of violence was committed by two African American males who were local gang members. They fled the location in a dark green Buick Regal driven by a female African American. There was a second vehicle which witnesses described as a gray or silver Chevrolet Monte Carlo which was behind the Buick Regal. Michael was listening to music with head phones and he did not hear the car pull up next to him. “He didn’t hear or see them get out of the car or draw a handgun. The fact of the matter is that they shot him numerous times in the back,” said Sheriff’s Homicide Lieutenant Don Slawson.
At the time of this tragedy, Michael’s father, Mr. Anthony Owens, had served his country in the Unites States Army National Guard and completed four tours of duty in Iraq. Hoping to leave the violence behind him and regain lost time with this family, Mr. Owens was unfortunately met with home-grown violence. Being a proud father, Mr. Owens described his son’s dreams and ambition to one day follow in his steps and become a United States Marine, which then changed into becoming a Sheriff’s Deputy.
Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Or, if you prefer to provide information anonymously, you can call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting the letters TIPLA, plus your tip, to CRIMES (274637), or using the web site http://lacrimestoppers.org.
SHB-101M-10 X X X September 30, 2010