Arrest Made in Freeway Slaying

Arrest Made in Freeway Slaying
An alleged gang member is accused of killing a Long Beach college student in March on the Harbor Freeway. Road rage is suspected.
By Natasha Lee
Times Staff Writer

July 23, 2005

Detectives on Friday made their first arrest in the string of freeway shootings across Southern California, accusing an alleged gang member of killing a Long Beach college student during a “road rage” incident in March on the Harbor Freeway.

The region’s freeway system has seen nearly two dozen shootings this year, leaving four people, including 20-year-old Michael Livingston, dead. The shootings have been scattered across four counties. Authorities don’t think they are connected and note that the number of shootings is about the same as last year.

Still, the violence has caused anxiety among commuters and has prompted the California Highway Patrol to increase the number of cruisers on the freeways.

On March 29, Livingston, a student at West Los Angeles College, was heading north on the Harbor Freeway, near Manchester Avenue, when he was shot in the head. He lost control of his 1998 Chevy Camaro and crashed into the center divider.

Detectives on Friday said that Livingston was shot from a passing car carrying four or five gang members. Officials didn’t provide details on what precipitated the shooting but said it could have been an incident between Livingston and the suspects while on the freeway.

D’andre Keyshaun Moorer, 27, of Los Angeles is charged in the killing and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, according to LAPD Capt. Kenneth Garner of the 77th Street Division, which handled the investigation.

A second person in the car, Donald Ray Shorts, 23, of Los Angeles, is in custody in connection with three unrelated homicides in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. He has not been charged in the Livingstone case.

Authorities said tips from the public and ballistic evidence led them to Moorer and Shorts.

“On March 29, I made a promise to the family that I was going to solve this case and I’m glad we have,” Garner said at a news conference Friday.

The arrests come a week after some South Los Angeles community activists urged the FBI to investigate the string of freeway shootings to determine whether they were racially motivated hate crimes. The activists noted that some of the victims were black or Latino.

Police Chief William J. Bratton said Friday that he doesn’t think race is a factor in the shootings.

Rather, he said, the attacks are typically fueled by road rage or gang retaliation.

In the Livingston case, both the victim and the suspects are African American.

“This incident was the result of a road-rage situation … something that unfortunately happens all too frequently on the streets in this state and in this country,” Bratton said.

Freeway shootings are among the most difficult crimes to solve, detectives said, because potential witnesses are usually focused on the road ahead and physical evidence is hard to gather.

The LAPD and other law enforcement agencies are still investigating the other shootings.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in any of the freeway shootings.

Dennis Livingston, Michael’s father, praised the Police Department for its efforts. The family had held news conferences after the shooting, urging people with information to call authorities. Dennis Livingston wore a necklace Friday bearing a picture of his son.

“This doesn’t give us closure. This is not something you get over … but it does give us hope that these individuals have been taken off the street and won’t hurt anybody else,” he said.

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