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-- Megan Garvey and Anthony Pesce

Dispatch: 'I put some water on my socks and tried to wipe up the blood. I wiped up as much blood as I could' [Updated]

October 2, 2009 |  4:36 pm
Kevin Harris, 21, was shot and killed in Inglewood on Sept. 20. Credit: Paul Parsons
After her son was shot and killed Sunday, Sept. 20, Kathryn Harris was so consumed with grief she did not eat for days.

“My arms and fingers are starting to take on a skeletal appearance,” she said. “I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. And I cry.”

Kevin Harris, a 21-year old black man, had been sitting in his parked car in front of a music studio on the 3300 block of West 118th Place in Inglewood when he was fatally wounded, authorities said.

His mother wept as she described the phone call that came that night from her son’s father. She spoke of her frantic trip to the studio where the aspiring music composer and producer had been shot several times shortly after 8 p.m.

“I put some water on my socks and tried to wipe up the blood. I wiped up as much blood as I could,” she said. “I got down on my hands and knees and used my hands like they were a broom to sweep up the glass.”

Inglewood Police Department officials have described the shooter as a possible gang member. Harris, however, was not involved in gangs and had no criminal history, said Inglewood police Det. Jose Becerra.

The night her son was killed, Kathryn Harris said, she knew something was wrong. She texted him and called him repeatedly and there was no response. Then, she said, she got the call from his father.

Harris was pronounced dead at the hospital about 40 minutes after the shooting. No witnesses have come forward and police have not named any suspects in his killing, authorities said.

“I was kind of on the verge of suicide,” his mother said. “But there’s no way I would do that because then I would never see God. I would never see my son.”

Kevin Harris, known to friends as Track Bully, learned to play the piano in a music class his freshman year at St. Bernard Catholic High School, said Jimmique Parsons, his best friend.

Parsons said the class taught Harris the basics of how to play, but his friend was soon learning to play popular songs by ear after hearing them on the radio. During his sophomore year in high school, Harris downloaded a music program that allowed him to compose, mix and loop basic beats, and from there he was hooked, Parsons said.

At first he would sample and mix songs from popular hip-hop artists such as Kanye West and Dr. Dre, but Parsons said he quickly moved to composing his own music, then mixing it and looping it digitally with other instruments.

“He would go into the studio, play around on the piano for an hour or so, then start recording…. Then he would find chords to bring in, then drums,” Parsons said. “It was amazing; he would start from scratch.”

Kathryn Harris said her son also played on his high school basketball team and regularly went to church. His favorite color was white, she said, adding that he was buried in a white suit.

After high school graduation Harris worked a number of odd jobs during the day and spent his nights in the studio, Parsons said. He worked at Urban Outfitters, Vons and eventually at a mattress store while at night the studio paid him to mix tracks for local artists.

He worked on a video with Lady G, a rapper from Atlanta, Parsons said. But Parsons said he mostly worked with local artists and on his own music.

[Updated Oct. 5: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Lady G as a Jamaican DJ.]

Kathryn Harris said she had devoted her life to making sure her son did not fall into the wrong crowd. She sent him to Catholic middle and high schools, read him the Bible.

Over the course of a two-hour phone interview, she sobbed for three-quarters of the conversation. She was still at the cemetery, having just picked out the place in a mausoleum to bury her son.

She recalled a time when he was 2 years old and she took him to a coin-operated laundry. She said she gave him a 100-piece puzzle to keep him entertained and after a short period of time he told her: "Done, mommy, done."

She said she took him jet-skiing when he was 7, and later would accompany his school basketball team on trips to games. She said one of his favorite nicknames for her was "Mother of pearl."

"He used to text me 'goodnight mother of pearl,'" she said.

“He has no gang ties whatsoever, I raised him preppy,” she said. “He wanted people to be happy in general…. He saw good in everyone.”

She said she was always nervous about the area his studio was in and would stay up at night – sometimes into the early morning – until she heard him come home safe.

“They tell me God only give you as much as you can handle,” she said. “Well God must think I’m really strong.”

 —  Anthony Pesce

AJ - THE WALLS (pROD Track Bully)

Follow The Homicide Report on Twitter @latimeshomicide.

Photo: Kevin Harris Credit: Paul Parsons

Music: A sample of Kevin Harris' work, courtesy of his family.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Comments (79)

Hold strong, and KNOW that the Lord will see you through this, and help you to find comfort through this time.. Somehow, someway, as impossible as it may seem. There is no way the assailant can go without answering to the Lord for this. Live Through This. For God, and your family, and the one you lost. And remember we will ALL ultimately be reunited in Heaven.

A 19-year old boy was sitting in his car on Arbor Vitae in Inglewood at about 11:30pm on Oct. 1st...was fatally shot at killed too. What is going on?

To Kathryn Harris From Lin in New Mexico:

What a horrendous loss to Kevin's family and friends! i feel that society has also lost, in ways we'll never know.

I hope you will be able to draw some comfort in recalling that your son lived his life knowing he was loved and cherished.

Another senseless murder! And worse, the victim had such a bright future and a mother who loved him so much that she devoted her whole life to making sure he stays on the right path. My prayers are with you, Mrs. Harris.

Why ae you blaming LAPD, this all starts at home, the proof is in the way that Kevin Harris was raised, he did not involve himself in the way of life, that his murderers chose to involve themselves in.

Maybe their parents didn't live the way Kevins Mother lived, and raise them in a home of love and right and wrong. People choose this THUG life, and ruin the lifes of many loving and God fearing people. L.A.P.D is not responsible for the choices people make, it all starts at HOME.

Ms. Harris, I am so sorry for your loss. It all seems so senseless. I live here in L.A., have three sons all in their 20's and living on their own. I pray every nite for God to keep them safe. Even though they are grown up, I still worry something will happen to them. I can't imagine what you are going through. Even though I don't know you, I will pray every night that you will be given the strength from God to make it through to the next day, even though your heart is breaking. God bless you.

Los Angeles, CA

Kathryn God will lead and guide you.I send my deepest sympathy.

May God bless the Harris Family. Were living in a time where the UNCIVILIZED is living amongst the CIVILIZED and they don't have any regards for life. They will kill for the thrill. If you can't stand in your front yard, sit in your home, or chill in your car. You have no choic but to protect yourself, and to take as many precautions as possible not to be out and about, if you don't have too. Life was created to live: Not to survive and hide.

May God comfort you and bring you peace. I've been there, losing my daughter, so I know what you are going though. I lift you up in prayer.

My heart goes out to you, I know how you feel. I just lost my son on the 4th of July which they say was the 5th , he was gun down by a drive by too. He was everything to me. We had just spent the whole day together. Then he was dropping his friend off at home when someone came by shooting. I had just left him not even twenty minutes before he was shot. When my son called me telling me that my son Dominique needed me right now and I felt bad because I couldn't get to him fast enough all I could do was pray to the good lord above to save him and hope that he was all right but I didn't know how serious he was shot until I got their and that it was not good. My son was a good person and didn't need to leave this world the way he did he was loved by everyone and everybody he put a smile on everybody face even if you didn't want to smile he made you smile. He did alot for everyone also. He was a auto mechanic and he sold cars for a living. They say the devil be busy but I say the devil didn't get my son the lord got him first so I know he is in a better place. And a day do not go by with out me thinking about him for his birthday we had a candle lite and celebrated his 29th And I hope and pray everyday for the person that did this to my son to turn their self in and come forward because he didn't deserve to die he had a life to live for and he was not a gangbanger. My prayer will be with you and all the others mothers that lost their children at gun violence. Why do the good die young?

Probably someone jealous of his good looks and potential talent. I hope some major group decides to license the song and record it in his memory. At least his talent wasn't as wasted as the SOB who murdered him. Probably over some girl who had a jealous ass@$le of a boyfriend. My deepest condolences to his family and mother. She raised a jewel of a son. This happens too often in our sick community. The death penalty is even too good for the person or persons involved. I hope a witness can come forward. I loved the song. What a loss for the world. I hope he has other songs recorded that can be published on behalf of his family and the world who has never heard suck a sincere talent. God Bless.

Another young man with a bright future gunned down over some street crap. Sadly, this has become all to common in the community. To the mother and father of Kevin, you provided him with a safe and loving home. That is all any child could ever ask for. It's just a damn shame. You can't blame all this on the police, they can only do so much. They lock up alot of these terrorist. It all starts when a kid is brought home from the hospital by their parent.

Your loss is unimaginable to me, I will pray for you, your family, and his friends. I lived in Inglewood & South Central for many years, I still read the L A Times in St Louis, MO and you have my prayers.

Gone to soon.... Listen to Marvin Gaye's message in 1971 "What's Going On" and then ask yourself "Is the only thing that we've done is waste time?" Come on folks..we can do better. To the Harris family may God give you strength, peace and a special purpose.

I had the honor of working with Kevin Harris. He was a true perfectionist in everything he did. I'm sorry to hear that his life was taken early. Take comfort in the fact that his music and good heart reached people from Atlanta and beyond.

My heart goes out to you and your family, may god watch over your family and keep you all strong during this tough time.I remember Track Bully spending the night over my house with my son Desmond. He always had a smile on his face and I am so glad my son hung around such a positive influence. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

How many points of light can be extinguished until the whole world falls into darkness ? I never knew this kid, but damn, this story hurts...RIP K-har

To The Harris Family, I send my condolences. Trust me, I understand your pain. I was hit with this terrible reality on Nov 9, 1995 when my 19 yr. old son was murdered.

For those who have NEVER experienced such a horrific blow, you have no idea what we go through. It is nothing we can get over but it is definitely something we can get through. And I know the words "loss" and "lost" are often used but anything "lost" can be found. I know you mean well but when we're told "they are in a better place" irks a lot of us. Why? Because how do yo know it's a better place if you've never been there? How better a place is it for our children to be here with us? I could go on and on but you'll NEVER understand and I hope you NEVER will. But if you don't get involved by choice, it will be by Force! There are some murderers out here who have gotten away with murdering Kevins, Poohs, Lionels, Phillips,Cory's and others. Are you going to wait until they knock on your door?

Wow I am really sad to know that thing's like this will keep happening to other's. This is a tragedy that just wont stop it happen's to many of us in a daily base all I can say is that I am truely sorry for your loss Ms.Kathryn he was so full of life just like my sister she had just turned 21 when someone took her life it's been a year & 5 months since her murder & yet who ever took her life is out in the street's I want to believe one day this person who comitted this crime will come to justice but after a year & five months it get's hard to believe that will happen all I do know is that GOD will take justice for all of us one day.GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NO MATTER WHAT GOD LOVES U & ME.


i just wanted to repeat DR's comment.

Wow..."THE WALLS CAN'T STOP THE SOUND"...what a fitting song. I was moved to tears while listening to Mr Super Producer Track Bully and reading the article. Amazing indeed ! The walls won't stop the sound, his music will live forever...

i'm sorry for your loss. theres alot of very senseless things going on this world. stay strong mrs. harris. theres one person out here in wisconsin thats thinking of you.


first off i would like to say i am really sorry for the lost of your son i know all to well how devastating this is for you my son was murdered 10-2-06 and his birthday was 10-5 he would of turned 22yrs old it seems like yesterday and think of yourself as being really strong the pain that i felt when i saw my child lying on the ground rendered me helpless as i went to the cemetary this past oct 5th to put flowers on his grave i felt helpless keep the faith and just know you raised a wonderful child who would have never brought so much pain upon anyone like was dealt to your precious child wow this just keeps happening day after day and i allways say look at what pain another mother has to go thru over losing something so much a part of her life it's like they rip apart your soul what can you do my heart aches everyday for my son i would give my all just to have him back in my life one more day god bless you mom and keep all those beautiful thoughts of your son close cherish the good and keep the bad away.

107gxxve, why cant the LAPD stop crime before it happens? First of all, this is Inglewood, not Los Angeles. Second of all, we have a constitution and legal tradition that dictates that people have to commit a crime before they can be arrested. Third, you have the ACLU and other civil rights groups that have neutered aggressive policing [even though none of them live in the neighborhoods where all this crime is occuring]. And fourth, some communities seem to hate the police and would rather have violence and mayhem over a normal neighborhood that is quiet and peacefull.

I am so sorry for your loss. May God keep you close and bring you comfort.

Hi Ms Harris,

I don't know you but I love your son's song. I am so sorry about your loss. He had a beautiful voice. I will play it over and over and share it w/ my friends.

May God give you some peace.

from Redondo Beach

He seemed like such an amazing person. I do not know your family personally, but you will be in my prayers. God Bless You.



About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.

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