On June 21, 2020, in the middle of the afternoon and on Father's Day, at the corner of 49th and Figueroa in South LA, a 28-year-old mother of three was shot and killed. LAPD detectives have yet to find out who did it and why.
“It’s still hard to accept not seeing her physically,” says Terina Nelson.
Her daughter, Tajanae Nelson is the victim of that Father’s Day murder.
“She was loved, truly loved and she’s truly missed,” she says.
LAPD South Bureau Homicide Detective Thomas Callian is the lead detective in the unsolved case.
“Initially we had a lot of leads but we can’t figure out the link between our suspect and Tajanae,” he says.
Surveillance video appears to show the suspect – a woman – walking behind the victim and closing in on her at a faster pace.
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“She’s followed by a female and once Tajanae gets to the corner, the female appears to say something to her and fires a couple rounds at Tajanae and then the suspect runs across Figueroa and out of view.”
Callian says his team has multiple angles from different surveillance cameras showing the suspect in full view, but they’ve been unable to identify her. He also says there were multiple vehicles in a coin laundry parking lot at the time of the shooting – and they’ve been unable to find the people who he believes witnessed the shooting.
“Twenty to 30 feet away from where the shooting happened, sitting in their car and we still don’t know who those people are,” he says.
“She had a big heart, would do anything in the world for anyone,” her mom says, adding that now three granddaughters are without their mother – the youngest only 6 months old at the time of the shooting.
Two days before her death, her mom says Tajanae came to her in tears.
“She asked me to pray for her because she was tired of some things, whatever was going on. And she cried to me,” she recalls, “and I told my daughter I’m praying, I’ve always been praying.”
COVID kept them from embracing, though, a regret her mom says she carries with her every day.
“I still see her standing in my room at my door telling me, 'Momma pray for me, pray for me that I don’t do something I’ll regret because I’m tired momma,” she says, choking up. “That’s the last thing I heard my daughter say to me.”
LAPD has issued a $50,000 reward for information in the case, hoping it could be an incentive for someone to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD South Bureau Homicide at 323-786-5080.