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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Yetunde Price, the oldest sister and personal assistant of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, was fatally shot early Sunday, according to Raymone Baine, publicist for Serena Williams.

Price and Serena Williams were recently profiled in People Magazine, which is owned by CNN's parent company, AOL Time Warner. "This is extremely devastating news," Bain said. "They are a very close-knit family."



Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena said the shooting took place just outside the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, where the Williams sisters grew up, shortly after midnight.

Pena said the Special Weapons Team has surrounded the location where suspects have barracaded themselves. The shooting happened in the 1100 block of Greenleaf Boulevard in Compton, he said.

Venus and Serena Williams are the youngest of five daughters of Richard and Oracene Williams.

© CNN
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Yetunde Price. Divorce with three kids lived in Corona, California, a middle to upper middle class suburb about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Corona is located in Riverside County.

The Crime occured at the 1100 block of Greenleaf Blvd. Victim got into a confrontation with a Man and a Woman in a white SUV at 1 a.m. It appears people in white SUV shot Yetunde Price. No indicators of the motive. No other people were hit by gunfire. Sheriff's found out at about 10:15 a.m. that this was Venus and Serena's sister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sister of Venus, Serena Killed in Calif.
By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ
Associated Press Writer

An older sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams was shot to death Sunday following a dispute in suburban Los Angeles, authorities said.

Yetunde Price, 31, was with a man in a sport utility vehicle shortly after midnight and "somehow they had become involved in a confrontation with the local residents," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena.

Sheriff's deputies searching for three people believed to be involved in the shooting surrounded a house in Compton at about 6 a.m., but it turned out to be empty.

No arrests had been made by midday.

Venus and Serena's agent, Carlos Fleming, said the family was en route to California. Serena has been in Toronto to film a guest role in the Showtime drama series "Street Time."

WTA Tour spokesman Darrell Fry had no immediate comment.

Price was shot in the upper torso. Deputies on patrol heard the gunshots and found Price, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The man who had been with her in the SUV wasn't injured and was being interviewed by authorities, Pena said.

Neighbor Robert Miller, 49, said he heard about a dozen gunshots.

Price was one of five Williams sisters who spent their early years in Compton, a crime- and poverty-ridden community where gang fighting has claimed many lives. Serena began playing tennis at age 5 1/2 on the neighborhood courts in Compton, coached by her father Richard.

The family later moved to Florida, where Venus and Serena live in Palm Beach Gardens. Richard and their mother Oracene are divorced, and Price used her mother's maiden name.

Price lived in Corona and worked as a personal assistant to her famous sisters. She was identified as a registered nurse and a business management major in the 2003 media guide for the WTA Tour.

Serena, 21, and Venus, 23, both missed the U.S. Open earlier this month because of injuries. Neither has said when they will play next, although the season-ending WTA Tour championships in Los Angeles in November is a possibility.

Serena, ranked No. 3 in the world, and sixth-ranked Venus have combined to win nine of the past 14 Grand Slam titles. They met in the final at five of the last six Slams, not including this year's U.S. Open. Serena won each of those times, and one or the other won every U.S. Open since 1999 until this year.

The other Williams sisters are Lyndrea, an actress and singer; and Isha, a lawyer and singer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Williamses' sister Yetunde killed in Compton Sept. 14, 2003
SportsLine.com wire reports

COMPTON, Calif. -- The oldest sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams was shot to death Sunday in the crime-ridden Los Angeles suburb that the family left years ago, authorities said.

Yetunde Price, a registered nurse who owned a beauty salon, was a personal assistant to her famous sisters.

Price, 31, had been with a man in a sport utility vehicle shortly after midnight and "somehow they had become involved in a confrontation with the local residents," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena.

Sheriff's deputies surrounded a house in Compton early Sunday, searching for three people believed to be involved in the shooting, but the house turned out to be empty. No arrests had been made yet.

Price was shot in the upper torso. Deputies on patrol heard the gunshots and found Price, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The man who had been with her in the SUV wasn't injured and was being interviewed by authorities, Pena said.

"There's not one evil thing you could say about this girl. She never hurt any person. She was a quiet person," said Sheriee Brown, who lives in Compton and is a friend of Price.

"They say on the news that we get used to these shootings," said Brown's husband, David. "But no one gets used to it. Who could get used to living in a war zone?"

Neighbors reported hearing anywhere from six to 20 gunshots. Pena said an assault rifle was found at the shooting scene.

Rodolfo Pulido, who lives around the corner, was awakened by the shots but did not go outside.

"Week after week, I hear gunfire. It's common," he said.

Price was one of five Williams sisters who spent their early years in Compton, a crime- and poverty-ridden community where gang fighting has claimed many lives.

She was divorced and had three children, and had moved to Corona, Calif., 40 miles from Compton. She took her mother's maiden name a few years ago after her parents Richard and Oracene were divorced.

Venus, eight years younger than Yetunde, and Serena, a little more than nine years younger, often told about the gunshots they heard as they played tennis on Compton's public courts. When they turned professional as teenagers, they moved with their parents to Florida, as much for the courts and the coaching there as to escape the violence.

Yet nothing -- not stardom nor distance nor the demands of travel -- weakened the bonds they felt toward their sisters. Yetunde, Isha, a lawyer and singer, and Lyndrea, an actress and singer, could often be seen in press boxes and hotels with Venus and Serena.

At Wimbledon in July, when Venus was injured during her semifinal and considered quitting, her mother and sisters encouraged her to play on.

When the family gathered Sunday to grieve over Yetunde's death, they flew in to Isha's house in the Los Angeles area. Venus came from New York, and Serena from Toronto, where she was filming a guest role in a cable TV series. Serena had stayed nearby Isha recently, recovering from her knee surgery at the condo she kept in Los Angeles.

Venus and Serena Williams both had been ranked No. 1 in the world and have won a total of 10 Grand Slam singles titles.

Serena, 21, and Venus, 23, both missed the U.S. Open earlier this month because of injuries. Neither has said when they will play next.

They met in the final at five of the last six Slams, not including this year's U.S. Open. Serena won each of those times, and one or the other won every U.S. Open since 1999 until this year.


AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Williams family pays tribute to slain sister

The Williams family has paid tribute to Yetunde Price, the elder sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena, who was fatally wounded in a shooting in the crime-plagued Los Angeles suburb of Compton on Sunday.

Ms Price, 31, was shot in the early hours of Sunday morning (local time) and died in hospital, police spokesman Richard Pena said.

"We are extremely shocked, saddened and devastated by the shooting death of our beloved Yetunde," a statement issued by the family through their publicist said.

"Yetunde was a loving mother, daughter, sister and friend."

Police said deputies were on patrol when they heard gunshots in Compton, a poverty-ridden community south of downtown Los Angeles that has a @#%$ rate four times the national average.

"It is a high-crime neighbourhood," said Pena.

Ms Price and a male companion had been in a white sports utility vehicle when they became "involved in a confrontation with some local residents," Sheriff's deputy Scott Butler said.

"One of the local residents pulled a weapon out and began to shoot, and the female victim was shot in the upper torso and transported to hospital where she died," Pena said.

Authorities said the investigation into the crime was continuing.

Venus and Serena Williams are the youngest of five daughters of Richard Williams and Oracene Price, who are now divorced.

Yetunde Price, the eldest, was herself a divorced mother of three: 5-year-old Jair, 9-year-old Justus and 11-year-old Jeffrey.

A registered nurse who cared for private patients in their homes, Ms Price also acted as personal assistant for her famous little sisters and was often seen courtside supporting them at tournaments.

She lived in Corona, California, and had recently opened a salon in Lakewood, California.

"As the oldest sibling and daughter, it was Yetunde who provided the stability to our family," the family statement said. "She was our nucleus and our rock. She was personal assistant, confidant, and adviser to her sisters, and her death leaves a void that can never be filled.

"As a doting mother, Yetunde placed her children, Jair, Justus and Jeffrey above all else, and no matter what her schedule, they were her number one priority. Our grief is overwhelming and this is the saddest day of our lives.

"We ask that you please respect our peace and privacy at this very difficult time."

Carlos Fleming, agent for Venus and Serena Williams, said family members were headed to Los Angeles from various places. Serena had been in Toronto filming a television show.

While the sisters spent their early years in Compton, the family later moved to Florida where Venus and Serena pursued their tennis careers.

Serena is currently ranked third in the world while Venus is the world number six.

Between them they have won nine of the last 14 Grand Slam titles, but both missed the recently concluded US Open - Serena recovering from knee surgery and Venus from a torn abdominal muscle.

Their other sisters are Isha, who is a lawyer and singer, and Lyndrea, an actress, singer and stylist.

"The entire world of tennis is shocked and saddened by this tragic news, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Williams family," said Larry Scott, chief executive of the WTA Tour.

"We will do all we can to support them through this time of sorrow and grief."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Arrest made after shooting death

By Dennis Hunt and Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
COMPTON, Calif. — A 24-year-old man was arrested in the investigation of the fatal shooting of the sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said early Monday. The suspect was identified as Aaron Michael Hammer. He was jailed without bail, said sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena.

Yetunde Price was the owner of a Los Angeles-area beauty salon and a personal assistant to her sisters.
By Jerome T. Nakagawa, AP

The sister, Yetunde Price, and a male companion were in a sport-utility vehicle in the suburb of Compton when they got into an argument with some people that erupted in gunfire, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Alba Yates had said on Sunday.

Price was a personal assistant to the tennis stars, who once lived in Compton.

Sheriff's deputies in the neighborhood responded "in seconds" only to find Price, 31, bleeding from a shot to the upper torso, Yates said. She died a short time later at a hospital.

Police didn't say what led to Hammer's arrest or when he was taken into custody. However, Pena said homicide detectives were still seeking the public's assistance in gathering information about the killing of Price, who was shot in the chest about a mile from the tennis courts where her sisters rose to prominence.

The man who had been with Price wasn't injured. Investigators did not release his name and continued to interview him.

An assault rifle had been found near the shooting.

"We are extremely shocked, saddened and devastated by the shooting death of our beloved Yetunde," the Williams family said in a statement Sunday night. "Yetunde was a loving mother, daughter, sister and friend."

They added: "Our grief is overwhelming, and this is the saddest day of our lives."

Compton has been the scene of notorious gang activity in which shootings are not uncommon. Price was one of five sisters who spent their early years there. The Williams sisters started playing tennis on the neighborhood courts in Compton, coached by their father, Richard.

The family later moved to Florida, where Venus and Serena live in Palm Beach Gardens. The parents divorced this year. Price, who had a different father from the tennis stars, used the maiden name of their mother, Oracene.

The shooting happened in a working class neighborhood of smaller, well-kept homes.

The street where Price was shot remained closed Sunday. White markers indicated where shell casings had fallen.

"I heard the shots last night. I was visiting my friends," said Georgia Hudson, 23. "We were afraid to go outside. I've heard shots here before.."

Luis Hernandez, 18, was a block away from the shooting.

"I was walking with my friends and I heard the shots and a lot of noise," he said. "We just ran."

Price was the owner of a Los Angeles-area beauty salon and a personal assistant to her sisters. She lived in Corona, Calif., about 40 miles from Compton. She was divorced and the mother of three children.

Venus and Serena Williams' agent, Carlos Fleming, said the family was en route to California. Serena Williams had been in Toronto to film an appearance on a cable TV drama series.

Serena, 21, and Venus, 23, both missed the U.S. Open earlier this month because of injuries. Neither has said when they will play next.

Serena, ranked No. 3 in the world, and sixth-ranked Venus have combined to win nine of the past 14 Grand Slam titles. They met in the final at five of the past seven Slams. Serena won each of those times, and one or the other had won every U.S. Open since 1999 until this year.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the WTA Tour are with the entire Williams family at this difficult time," said Larry Scott, chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association Tour.

The other Williams sisters are Lyndrea, an actress and singer; and Isha, a lawyer and singer.

Contributing: Hunt reported from Compton; Vanden Brook from McLean, Va.; The Associated Press also contributed to this report
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scott's statement regarding the death of Venus & Serena's sister
September 14, 2003


"This is very sad and tragic news. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the WTA Tour are with the Williams and Price families during this difficult time.''
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·


A detective walks through the crime scene where 31-year-old Yetunde Price, the older sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams (news - web sites), was fatally shot early September 14, 2003 in Compton, California. Price was shot a poverty-ridden community about 20 miles south of Los Angeles, a Sheriff's Deputy said. (Jim Ruymen/Reuters)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


Sheriff's SWAT members depart after determining that suspects in a fatal shooting had fled the house before they arrrived, September 14, 2003 in Compton, California. 31-year-old Yetunde Price was fatally shot early on Sunday in the tree-lined community about 20 miles (32 km) south of Los Angeles, police said. The suspected homicide occurred outside a single-family home that witnesses described as abandoned, after a confrontation between neighborhood residents and Price, who was the eldest sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams (news - web sites). REUTERS/Jim Ruymen
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Sheriff's SWAT members depart after determining that suspects in a fatal shooting had fled the house before they arrrived, September 14, 2003 in Compton, California. 31-year-old Yetunde Price was fatally shot early on Sunday in the tree-lined community about 20 miles (32 km) south of Los Angeles, police said. The suspected homicide occurred outside a single-family home that witnesses described as abandoned, after a confrontation between neighborhood residents and Price, who was the eldest sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams (news - web sites). REUTERS/Jim Ruymen
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tennis star Serena Williams (news - web sites) and her Yetunde Price sister pose with the award Serena won for best female athlete at the 11th annual ESPY Awards, in this July 16, 2003 photo in Los Angeles. Yetunde Price, 31, an older sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams was shot to death shortly after midnight Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton following a confrontation with some residents, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Butler said. (AP Photo/Jerome T. Nakagawa)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Suspect Arrested in Killing of Sister of Venus, Serena Williams




Sep 15, 12:27 PM (ET)

By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ



COMPTON, Calif. (AP) - A 24-year-old man was arrested for investigation of murder in the shooting of the older sister of Venus and Serena Williams, authorities said Monday. Sheriff's deputies were searching for two other possible suspects.

Yetunde Price, 31, was shot in the chest early Sunday about a mile from the tennis courts where her sisters first rose to prominence in this Los Angeles suburb that has long been notorious for gang activity and violence.

Price had been sitting with a man in a sport utility vehicle when "somehow they had become involved in a confrontation with the local residents," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena.

"That dispute led to gunfire, and the woman was shot in the upper torso," Deputy Scott Butler said Monday.

The suspect was identified as Aaron Michael Hammer of Compton. He was booked for investigation of murder late Sunday and jailed without bond, said sheriff's Deputy Bill Spear. Two other possible suspects were being sought, Butler said.


The Williams sisters issued a statement shortly after the shooting saying their family was overwhelmed with grief.

"She was our nucleus and our rock. She was personal assistant, confidante, and adviser to her sisters, and her death leaves a void that can never be filled," the family statement said. "This is the saddest day of our lives."

Venus flew from New York to Los Angeles and Serena traveled from Toronto to be with relatives. Price, a registered nurse who owned a beauty salon, was a personal assistant to her half-sisters.

Authorities said it wasn't known whether Price knew her assailant or what prompted the dispute. They said Hammer was arrested after deputies interviewed a half-dozen people, including Hammer, at a home on the street where Price was shot.

The man with Price, identified by authorities as Rolland Wormley, 28, was not hurt and drove her to a relative's house in Long Beach, where he called 911, Pena said. Price was taken to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and died there.




Wormley was jailed after authorities discovered he was on parole, which they said he violated by being at the scene of the shooting. It wasn't disclosed what he was on parole for.

The tree-shaded street where Price was shot is lined with homes with barred windows, and neighbors said the sound of gunshots is common. The night Price was shot, neighbors reported hearing six to 20 gunshots. An assault rifle was found nearby.

Rodolfo Pulido, 35, who lives around the corner, was awakened by the shots but did not go outside. "Week after week, I hear gunfire," he said.

Price was one of five sisters who spent their early years in Compton.

She was divorced and had three children, Jair, 5; Justus, 9; and Jeffrey, 11. She had moved to Corona, 40 miles away, and took her mother's maiden name a few years ago after her parents divorced. She recently opened a hair salon in nearby Lakewood with a high school friend.

"I can't believe it. There's not one evil thing you could say about this girl. She never hurt any person. She was a quiet person," said a friend, Sheriee Brown, 32, of Compton.

The five sisters were extremely close. Yetunde; Isha, a lawyer and singer; and Lyndrea, an actress and singer could often be seen in stadium guest boxes and hotels with Venus and Serena.

When Venus and Serena Williams were children, Price was a caring, gentle role model. As recently as Wimbledon this summer, Price helped with her sisters' personal business matters, cheering them on, the big sister who stayed on the side and never showed any jealousy of their success.

Venus, eight years younger than Price, and Serena, a little more than nine years younger, often spoke about the gunshots they heard as they played tennis on public courts in Compton. When they turned professional as teenagers, they moved with their parents to Florida, in part for the courts and the coaching and in part to escape the violence.

Yet nothing - not stardom nor distance nor the demands of travel - weakened the bonds they felt toward their sisters. At Wimbledon in July, when Venus was injured during her semifinal and considered quitting, her mother and sisters encouraged her to play.

The poise Venus and Serena showed so young could be attributed as much to the influence of their older sisters as to the independence and religious devotion that their parents encouraged.

All five sisters are the daughters of Oracene Williams, who was previously married to the late Yusef A.K. Rasheed. She later married Richard Williams, father of Venus, 23, and Serena, who will be 22 next week.

"They don't regard themselves as half-sisters, they regard themselves as sisters," said Raymone Bain, a publicist for Serena. "The five girls are each others' best friends."

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