The three men killed Tuesday night, Oct. 29, when at least one gunman fired into a house party in Long Beach’s Rose Park neighborhood, have been identified.
Maurice Poe, Jr., 25, of Long Beach, Ricardo Torres, 28, of Inglewood, and were fatally wounded during the shooting, an official with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said Thursday, Oct. 31.
Melvin Williams, 35, of Gardena, was confirmed by a family member as the third victim.
The three were among 25 to 30 people attending a party in the 2700 block of East Seventh Street, near Ohio Avenue, when gunfire came through the backyard from a rear alley, police have said. Nine others – two men and seven women, between 20 and 49 years old – were injured and taken to local hospitals.
The Long Beach Police Department, as of Wednesday evening, said investigators are looking for one suspect, described as a man wearing dark colors and with his face concealed.
But police have left open the possibility that there could be more than one shooter, with Police Chief Robert Luna saying Wednesday morning that a suspect or suspects fled in a dark-colored vehicle.
Luna also said Tuesday’s shooting was the worst single incident he can remember during his nearly 34 years with the Long Beach Police Department.
Coroner’s officials notified family members that Williams was among the three who died.
“He loved going to church, loved singing in the choir and was always an outgoing person,” a relative said. “There was never a dull moment. When he walked in a room, you knew you were getting ready to laugh.”
Williams worked at the same church in which he sang, in Los Angeles, the relative said. He did not have kids and was not married.
They had only been at the party 20 minutes when the shots rang out.
Williams’ father passed away about a year and a half ago, the relative said. Williams’ death has been tough on the family, which now has to deal with funeral costs on top of hospital bills for his sister.
“He was just the light that brightened up the room,” the relative said.
NOTE: This story was updated to include the identity of the third man who was killed.