A college basketball player who was celebrating his birthday with friends was found shot to death in the back seat of a car in Monterey Park Thursday morning.
Authorities received a report of gunfire and found 20-year-old Saieed Ivey around 5 a.m. in the back seat of a Mercedes-Benz in the 800 block of West El Repetto Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Ivey was a freshman guard at East Los Angeles College.
Chareda Carter, the victim's mother, said her son moved to Southern California to escape violence in Chicago.
"Saieed loved a lot of people and a lot of people loved him," Carter said.
Carter said she thought Los Angeles would be safer than Chicago.
"Chicago is home, but it's some really horrible things happening in the streets of Chicago. But it just goes to show you that violence is everywhere. You just really have to be careful," Carter said.
Lt. Eddie Hernandez said Ivey was with friends and went to the apartment he shares with his brother.
"The victim told his friends he was going to walk down to the car. Didn't say nothing further than that. Some time after that conversation took place, he walked down to the vehicle in the parking lot. A neighbor heard a gunshot," Hernandez said.
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The family is waiting for the LA County Coroner to release his body so they can take him home for burial.
"He's irreplaceable and he'll never be a was to me because Saieed is."
Ivey's family said they want his killer to be caught.
Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.