July 25, 2013
By Brian W. Carter
LAWT Staff Writer
A vigil sits at Crenshaw and 78th street for 18-year old, Inglewood High school student Markeis Parish who was killed in a hit-and-run on the evening of Saturday, July 20. Police allege Parish was crossing at an unmarked point in the street and was struck by a car.
According to reports by witnesses, Parish was attempting to get across the street with his bike and was struck by a recent model, silver Mercedes Benz. His body was apparently thrown 30-feet and dragged down the street. Witnesses say his clothes were ripped off his body. He was taken to a local hospital where he later passed due to his injuries.
Police found the vehicle abandoned an hour later on Imperial Highway with no signs of the driver. Authorities visited the residence on the registration but no one has returned to the residence. Reports say the driver of the car was a Black male. It has been reported that friends of Parish know the driver of the car who they said lives in the area.
The tragic incident has left family and friends of Parish in a state of shock and grief. According to reports, the father of the slain teen was able to accompany him to the hospital. His mother was out of state at the time of the incident.
A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday at Crenshaw and 78th St. attended by family and friends. Burned out candles, cards and well wishes written by classmates, friends and family adorned the corner of the street. Parish, a talented athlete, played basketball, volleyball and ran track. Local community members and faculty had nothing but positive things to say about him.
“Definitely, it’s a tragedy that happened and something that really hit home for us,” said Inglewood Wood High Head basketball coach, Patrick Roy. “Markeis was definitely one of our kids and we were really fond of him.”
Roy, who recently spent time with the family, spoke on Parish as a talented basketball player for Inglewood High. Parish had played in the basketball program the past 3 years and was looking forward to going varsity later this year.
“He actually played in a tournament that was out in Anaheim [recently],” said Roy. “I had a chance to watch him play out there Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday [and] he got eliminated Friday.
“I had opened up the gym for him where he could get some shot ups and shoot around for some of his friends. The next day, he’s gone.
“It’s been real hard on me, staff—it’s just real tough on the Inglewood community.”
A local barber, who parish frequented, spoke about the young man and the loss to the community.
“He was a good dude—I cut his hair,” said the barber, “he wasn’t no riff-raff, he was real cool and mature for his age. He was a very mature, responsible individual.
“He was handling a lot on his own as far as becoming a young man, playing basketball, finishing school and stuff like that.
“It’s very unfortunate.”
“I feel terribly bad,” said local resident, Victor Adanri. “I found out he was a promising young man coming up.”
“For his life to [end] just like that is so sad and shocking.”
Nephriteri C. from Hawthorne came to see the vigil for Parish and pay respects to the young man. She, like many, found the tragedy gripping and unfortunate.
“It’s a real tragedy,” she said. “They probably should put a light [here].”
Members of the community are in fact working to have a traffic signal installed on the busy street. Many have stated that the street is dangerous due to traffic. They have apparently been asking for one.
“That would be a good development,” said Adanri, “maybe they could build… something here so that people can ride slowly.”
“[They’re] people already asking for it,” said the local barber. “Why do you need to send someone out here to gage and see how many people [will utilize it].
“People are going to utilize it because they’re asking for it.”
Ms. Parrish has made a heartfelt plea for the hit-and-run driver to turn themselves over to the authorities.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact LAPD South Traffic Detectives Mendoza or Yount at (323) 421-2500 or (323)421-2540.