Man Shot And Killed Behind Church, Police Investigating - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man Shot And Killed Behind Church, Police Investigating

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Hawthorne, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) A man was killed today in a vehicle-to-vehicle shooting in an alley in Hawthorne.

The shooting occurred at the rear of a storefront church the 12600 block of Prairie Avenue around 12:55 a.m., said Hawthorne police Lt. Scott Swain.

FOX 11 identified the man, who died at a hospital, as Azzaam Stallsworth, 31, of Gardena. The station reported that he had played football at State University of New York at Buffalo and was the father of a 3-year-old girl.

Stallsworth was behind the wheel of a vehicle that was stopped in the alley when a dark-colored SUV pulled up alongside and someone shot him with a handgun, the sheriff's department reported.

Stallworth's girlfriend was with him, but was not wounded, according to reports from the scene.

Sheriff's homicide detectives were assisting Hawthorne police in the investigation. Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau, (323) 890-5500; or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS.

From Gigi Graciette:

"Maybe they made a mistake. Maybe they're wrong", the young man kept repeating as he paced in front of the yellow tape.

"Who told you he's dead?", he asked another man. "The detective. The detective told me", the guy replied. "He's dead.

"Maybe they made a mistake. Could it be a mistake?", he then turned and asked us, the reporters.

But sadly it wasn't a mistake.

The man family and friends identify as Azzaam Stallsworth was dead, the victim of an early-morning car to car shooting in Hawthorne.

"One of my buddy's called me this morning and I just had to come here. I had to", a friend who has known Azzaam since elementary school told me.

It was obvious why he'd come.

"You were hoping it wasn't true, weren't you? Just like his family was", I asked.

"Yeah", he answers, his voice breaking, his eyes watering. "Yeah. Hoping it wasn't..."

Stallsworth's family telling us they received the call that would change their lives at 1 o'clock this morning.

It was Stallsworth's girlfriend, telling them he had been shot in the alley behind her house...and that he was dead.

The 31-year-old single father had been parked off Prairie and El Segundo in Hawthorne; talking with his girlfriend after a night at the movies.

That's when, police say, another car pulled up to them and someone inside opened fire.

Azzaam didn't stand a chance, although he tried driving away, he lost control and crashed into the gate of a church parking lot. His girlfriend wasn't hurt.

Stallsworth, a former Gardena High School football player who had gone on to play at SUNY at Buffalo died later at a hospital.

While the person who killed him, for reasons still unknown say police, is out there somewhere.

"He leaves behind a large family who really needs him", his lifelong friend Brandon tells me. "Including a young daughter who is going to be lost without him."

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