Police Search for Killer of Popular Venice Youth Minister Known as “Choir Boy”

The 23-year-old man -- known as "Choir Boy" -- was shot late Monday in Venice

Police are searching for a gunman who killed a popular 23-year-old youth minister with a shot to his head in Venice Monday night.

The victim -- a well-known community presence who was nicknamed "Choir Boy" -- was in front of his family's home when men in an older-model white car drove up, exchanged words with him, and then shot him, according to Lt. Marco Munoz of the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Station.

LAPD detectives said the victim is Oscar Duncan -- a Venice resident who was a youth pastor at Greater Zion Church Family in Compton. 

Duncan was also a core presence at the Boys & Girls Club in Venice, where he had been a member since he was 6 years old and was about to be hired as a full-time staff employee, Executive Director Erikk Aldridge said. Duncan had been named "Youth of the Year" at the club in 2006.

"He is hands down the most influential employee here at our club," Aldridge said. "Everyone knows him. He grew up in this community."

Duncan worked with teen club members on a job-training program and with audio engineering. He had attended Mark Twain Middle School and Venice High School, where he was captain of the football team, Aldridge said.

Duncan had grown up in Venice among gangs but had avoided taking that course, Aldridge said.

"This is horrific. The magnitude of this young man -- it's extremely, extremely tragic," Aldridge said. "We're all crushed and devastated. He had one foot in, one foot out."

Aldridge said Duncan went by the name "Choir Boy" as a musical performer. Several Venice community sites linked to Duncan's personal Tumblr page, which promoted his artistic work.

"He knows he’s not alone in what he has gone through growing up in today’s society, his music is a testimony to share with the people in hopes to touch a generation and inspire them," the blog read.

The shooting was reported at about 10:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue (map) in front of the family home. Aunt Laurie Williams said she found Duncan in a pool of blood with a gunshot wound to the head.

"This is senseless. This is crazy," Williams said.

Duncan was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Anyone with information is urged to contact West Bureau homicide detectives at 213-382-9470.

View Larger Map

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us