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Detectives seek public's help in solving Lawndale triple-slaying

January 25, 2010 |  2:02 pm

Detectives remain perplexed by a triple homicide in Lawndale and are asking for the public's assistance in solving the case.

Authorities received a phone call Friday afternoon about a possible gunshot victim in an apartment in the 14600 block of Larch Avenue in Lawndale, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Det. Karen Shonka.

When deputies arrived they found three victims dead: Brittany Howard, 23, who was shot several times;  Ivison Washington, 27, Howard's boyfriend, who was shot in the head; and Brandon Wright, 27, Howard's brother, who was also shot in the head.

Shonka said all three lived together in the apartment with Howard's 7-year-old daughter, Harmony. Harmony told detectives that her uncle, Wright, had walked her to school that morning and likely got back to the apartment about 8 a.m.

What happened next is a mystery.

Sometime between 8 a.m. and 2:20 p.m., when authorities received the call, someone shot all three victims. Shonka said there was no sign of forced entry to the apartment, nothing was taken, and nothing looked out of order in the residence.

Washington was a former gang member who got out of prison about seven months ago, Shonka said. But detectives said the shooting does not look like a regular gang killing, and any of the three victims could have been the intended target.

"I worked gangs for 10 years and this is not your typical gang shooting," Shonka said. "It looks more like a professional hit."

Though detectives do not have a motive in the killing, Shonka said it could be a dispute about business or money. Shonka said detectives have no leads on the case right now. None of the neighbors heard anything the day of the shooting because of a thunderstorm, Shonka said, so no one has been able to provide detectives with a more specific timeframe for the killing.

Shonka said Harmony is staying with relatives.

"She didn't even cry," Shonka said.

Detectives are asking anyone who might have information to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Shonka said any information, even if it seems insignificant, could help detectives solve the case.

-- Anthony Pesce

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