A former Leuzinger High School football star was shot to death in South Los Angeles, police said Thursday.
Darnell Charles, 30, was shot about 3:30 p.m. Thursday as he rode his bicycle at Imperial Highway and Menlo Avenue. A gunman got out of a vehicle, walked up to Charles and opened fire, police said.
Bullets struck Charles in the upper body, and he fell off his bike. The gunman fled in the vehicle, Los Angeles police Detective Sal LaBarbera said.
Charles, who lived in that area, died at a hospital at 4:50 p.m.
"We believe the case is gang-related," LaBarbera said.
Charles attended Leuzinger in Lawndale in the late 1990s. The Daily Breeze named him its Athlete of the Week on Sept. 30, 1999, for his performance in the Olympians' 56-13 victory over Long Beach Wilson High School. The senior running back rushed for 327 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns in the game.
A friend said Charles had a son and worked a security job.
- Larry Altman