The father of NBA player Richard Jefferson was shot and killed on Sept. 19 in a drive-by shooting in Southern California, authorities said.
Richard Allen Jefferson, 65, who lived in Inglewood, California, was standing on a corner of West Peach Street and Paulsen Avenue in the city of Compton, which neighbors Los Angeles to the south.
Shortly before 7 p.m. a dark-colored car containing several people drove by. One of the people shot Jefferson several times. Jefferson was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Los Angeles Times.
— LA County Sheriff's (@LASDHQ) September 20, 2018
Los Angeles Sheriff’s department detectives have not released a description of the assailants, nor any motive. The detectives are actively seeking assistance from the public. Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Prayers up for Richard Jefferson and his family.
The entire NBA family is with you. ❤ pic.twitter.com/BZfABwqmVj
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) September 20, 2018
Escaped a Bad Neighborhood, Ended Up Dying in One
The victim’s son, also named Richard Jefferson, has been playing in the NBA for 17 years. He is now 38 years old.
Jefferson was born in Los Angeles in 1980, and lived there for seven years.
“The area that we were living in was pretty bad,” Jefferson told NBA.com. “We were living in South Central during the crack epidemic. I was born in 1980, so when we moved in 1987, it was right at the height of it.”
The Jefferson family relocated to Phoenix in 1987, as part of a group of eight or nine families all from the same church.
Jefferson’s parents started a new church in Phoenix, and started making missionary journeys to East Africa.
“I was maybe nine or 10 when I went to Africa,” Jefferson recalled. “We didn’t have much growing up as a kid, but my parents worked very, very hard to save up money so they can help out people that had even less than us.”
“When your shoes are banged up and you’re getting made fun of in school, but your parents are saving up for people who have no shoes, those are things that stick with you,” he said.
Jefferson was active in many sports in school. He decided to focus on basketball until his sophomore year in high school, played in college, and went on to the NBA.