A Bellflower man is dead and a woman is in critical condition following a shooting in a North Long Beach neighborhood Friday afternoon, police said today.
The man was identified by authorities as 47-year-old Jimmy Ray Hawkins Jr.
“He will be missed by many,” said Hawkins’ sister, who declined to be named, fearing for her safety. “He was a humanitarian, an artist, a singer.”
Hawkins was a Long Beach native through and through, his sister said. He attended Jordan High School as a teenager and had a love for music, she said.
He leaves behind three daughters, she said.
“He was a family man ,” his sister said. “He loved his family and kids.”
No arrests have been made as the suspects fled the scene prior to police arriving. The motive for the shooting remains under investigation but detectives suspect the shooting is gang-related, which the LBPD defines as any crime “committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang.”
Hawkins was not part of any gang, according to his sister.
The shooting occurred sometime after 2 p.m. Friday in an alleyway in the 3300 block of Andy Street, an area with several residential apartments near Lakewood Regional Medical Center.
Hawkins and the woman were sitting in a parked car when two men approached them in a light-colored sedan and opened fire, police said in a statement Saturday morning.
When officers got to the area around 2:17 p.m., they found Hawkins and the woman suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body, Long Beach Police Department spokesperson Allison Gallagher said.
Officers rendered aid to the Hawkins and the woman until Long Beach Fire Department personnel arrived to perform life-saving measures on them both, Gallagher said. Despite immediate efforts by first responders, Hawkins was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The woman, meanwhile, has been hospitalized and is in critical condition, authorities said. No other injuries were reported.
One neighbor who lives in the 3300 block of Andy Street said she had just finished smoking outside when she heard eight to nine rounds from what sounded like a heavy weapon. Several neighbors also said they heard anywhere from seven to nine rounds during the shooting.
When the neighbor stepped back outside, she said first responders were on the scene and she witnessed paramedics transport a young woman with injuries to the upper body.
Hawkins’ death is the 18th homicide reported by Long Beach police this year. It’s the fifth homicide in North Long Beach in the last four weeks.