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Police post $20,000 reward in effort to solve 2018 murder of former NBA player’s father

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials announced a $20,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murder of the father of former NBA player Richard Jefferson four and a half years ago.

Richard Jefferson Sr., 65, was shot on the evening of September 19, 2018 while conversing with a group of people in the 1400 block of Paulsen Avenue in Compton. At least one gunman opened fire on Jefferson from a dark-colored vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials.

Investigators have said they believe the shooter or shooters were gang members who attacked Jefferson because they falsely thought he belonged to a rival gang. Neither Jefferson nor the people he was speaking with had been involved with gangs, sheriff’s homicide lieutenant Patricia Thomas said at a news conference announcing the reward.

“It appears that Mr. Jefferson was an innocent bystander killed in a senseless act of violence,” Thomas said. “Mr. Jefferson was killed for no other reason than to be friendly.”

The lieutenant added that the investigators were convinced that there were witnesses in the area who could help them solve the case.

Jefferson’s brother, Kenneth Jefferson, addressed the news conference, darkly saying that Richard “was a much loved brother, son, father, grandfather.”

Richard Jefferson’s son played for multiple teams during his 17 NBA seasons, including club champion Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

The bounty was approved by the county Board of Supervisors. The panel first issued an award in the case in 2020.

Investigators asked that anyone with information call the sheriff’s homicide office at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. They said callers could remain anonymous.