On Wednesday, just after noon, Denise Chiffon Berry, 44, and her 12-year-old son laughed when they passed a Cadillac where a man’s feet dangled outside the window.
They didn’t laugh long.
The Cadillac began to follow them, eventually catching up with them as Berry, frightened, pulled over in front of a police car, where the officer told her to back up to his vehicle. Before the police officer could unfasten his seat belt, before Berry and her son could climb out of their vehicle, Robert Washington, 38, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the Cadillac with two handguns, opened fire, killing Berry and severely injuring her son.
The officer returned fire, killing Washington, who was accompanied by Stanley White, 24, who was driving, and Brandon White, 19, in the back seat. They are half-brothers, according to KTLA.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Dave Coleman told the Daily Breeze that the 12-year-old boy claimed the car followed them. The boy told police, ‘Mommy says, “Look at that, isn’t that funny?” The boy added that his mother and the assailant made eye contact.
The boy was injured, but managed to run away; he underwent surgery on Wednesday.
Coleman stated, ‘It appears to be random or misguided. We’ll have to figure that out. … We know that, at some point, the little boy made eye contact with the suspect. We don’t know if that’s what set him off … The bottom line yesterday is she was driving down the street, minding her own business. The gunman got out with a mission. … You almost can’t drive around and make eye contact.”
Stanley White has been charged with murder and conspiracy; Brandon White was charged with conspiracy. They were being held on $1 million bond.
Berry was a Metro bus driver; she had an older son.