LAPD Struggles for Suspects in Saturday Morning Murder

Duane Anthony Burks, 24, was shot and killed on July 22, 2006.

The neighbors were there. That's what LAPD detectives believe about a Saturday morning murder that sent echoes of criminal gang activity across the neighborhood.

This particular shooting happened July 22, 2006. When the shotgun smoke cleared, 24-year-old Duane Anthony Burks was dead.

"It's been 10 years that my brother's been resting in peace and nobody knows nothing," said sister Sherry Henderson. "I'm tired of crying. I don't want other people crying like this."

Henderson said she and her brother were very close. They were the only two children whose mother passed away on Christmas Day while they were very young, and whose guardian and grandmother passed away years later. She said she and her brother only had each other in this life, so when she got word that her brother was shot, she rushed to the scene.

"And when we hit Florence and 11th Ave, I could just see detectives," she sobbed. "I see police, I see everything!"

LAPD South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide Division Detective Ricardo Feria said he believes a number of witnesses saw everything, too, but are afraid to come forward even a whole decade later.

"There was a lot of people out here," Det. Feria said. "It was a Saturday morning. People were here, people saw it."

Feria said he hopes that shining light on the cold case will warm up witnesses to come forward. He said Burks was sitting in his car just outside his apartment complex after going to buy juice for his newborn baby.

"There's an exchange of words and shots are fired," Feria said. "He's shot multiple times while sitting in his vehicle in the driver's seat."

Henderson said her brother left behind three kids and a tumultuous marriage. The man she described as loving his family and loving his life had avoided criminal activity.

"I just want to know, I'm tired of hurting," she said.

And more than 10 years later, she said her pain hasn't changed. Now she's seeking justice for her brother, his kids and for the hundreds of other families who have had to deal with murder on South LA streets.

"It's sad that there's a lot of us like this," she said. "And it's sad that we die by our own hands."

LAPD believes there are four suspects involved – all of them in their 20s at the time of the shooting. They say two men fired two different guns, killing Burks, with a third man in the getaway vehicle and a female behind the wheel of the blue mini van.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact LAPD South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide Division at 323-786-5100 and ask for Det. Feria.

Contact Us