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Police Say Tips Lead to Arrest in Venice Killing, Investigation Continues

The Los Angeles Police Department says the suspected gang member charged with the murder of a popular Venice youth pastor was identified in numerous tips after a public plea for information on the crime.

The 28-year-old suspected gang member charged with the murder of popular Venice youth pastor Oscar Duncan was identified in numerous tips as a suspect and arrested after attempting to evade officers in South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday in a news release.

Kevin Dwayne Green pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of murder with gun use and street gang allegations for the June 4 shooting death of Duncan, 23, a former "Youth of the Year" at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice.

Green was being held on $2 million bail. He also was charged with a separate count of second degree robbery in connection with an incident that occurred May 21, and with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

"This investigation is ongoing, and our detectives are still interviewing witnesses and gathering clues, we cannot disclose all aspects of this investigation," the release said.

Duncan was shot and killed June 4 about 10:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue. Prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said that Green was among a group of men who allegedly drove up to Duncan and his girlfriend, who were standing on the street. They jeered at Duncan's girlfriend and shouted a gang name as one of them fired a single shot, striking Duncan in the head, according to the district attorney's office.

Green was arrested Friday by Gang Narcotics Division officers in South Los Angeles after attempting to evade officers, police said. If convicted, Green faces up to 50 years to life in prison.

"As pleased as we are to see one of the perpetrators of this egregious crime is in custody and being prosecuted, the hearts of all the Los Angeles Police Department members goes out to the family and friends of Oscar Duncan, the innocent victim in this senseless case. We are profoundly sorry for your loss and only hope that the arrest and prosecution of this individual can help bring a slight amount of comfort to your family," the release said.

Duncan, a 2006 graduate of Venice High School, was a captain on the football team, a homecoming king and known for his commitment and passion for religion, performing and giving back to Venice. He was a talented dancer and singer who went by the name of "Choir Boy," a nod to his faith for his gospel-inspired hip-hop music.

He was a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice since age 6 and went on to work at the club after high school. Duncan was a teen mentor and instructor in the club's recording studio and audio engineering program.

Duncan also was a youth pastor at a church in Compton and oversaw about 1,500 youths.

Police noted in their release how the "egregious crime shocked the community" and said the plea for information by Duncan's friends, family and police resulted in numerous tips that identified Green as one of the men allegedly responsible for the gang-motivated killing.

A 22-year-old man also was arrested over the weekend in connection with the shooting, but prosecutors have yet to file charges. Police earlier said they were seeking four men in a white, mid-sized sedan.

Anyone with information on the crime was asked to call West Bureau Homicide at 213-382-9470. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

Venice Local June 14, 2012 at 05:24 AM
CAUTION - we don't KNOW that this guy - no matter how unsavory he may be - is the killer. Nothing has been proven, and he remains "innocent until PROVEN guilty" - so, let's don't get into a lynch-mob frenzy about him...as painful as the loss of our neighbor was, this suspect deserves the benefit of our doubt until he is proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt".
Fred Owens June 14, 2012 at 03:16 PM
It is good that an arrest has been for this terrible murder. My sister and I recently walked down Santa Clara Street -- just out for a stroll --- but we came upon the house on the 600 block where the crime took place. There was a mass of flowers and candles on the sidewalk, and family member were sitting quietly on the front porch in mourning. I couldn't think of anything to say, but I looked over to the mourning family and nodded my head. This young man who died was a very good person.

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