Monday, September 15, 2003

Eldest Williams sister murdered in California

The oldest of the five successful sisters from Compton, California, has been shot to death. Her two youngest siblings, Venus and Serena Williams, are known world-wide for their exceptional skills as tennis players. The older three girls, also tutored in tennis by their father, Richard, chose other professions.

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) - An older sister of tennis stars Venus and
Serena Williams was shot to death Sunday following a dispute in
suburban Los Angeles, authorities said.

Yetunde Price, 31, was with a man in a sport utility vehicle
shortly after midnight and ``somehow they had become involved in a
confrontation with the local residents,'' said Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Deputy Richard Pena.

Sheriff's deputies searching for three people believed to be
involved in the shooting surrounded a house in Compton at about 6
a.m., but it turned out to be empty.

No arrests had been made by midday.

WTA Tour spokesman Darrell Fry had no immediate comment.

Price was shot in the upper torso. Deputies on patrol heard the
gunshots and found Price, who was later pronounced dead at a
hospital. The man who had been with her in the SUV wasn't injured
and was being interviewed by authorities, Pena said.

Price was one of five Williams sisters who spent their early
years in Compton, a crime- and poverty-ridden community where gang
fighting has claimed many lives. Serena began playing tennis at age
5 1/2 on the neighborhood courts in Compton, coached by her father

The family later moved to Florida, where Venus and Serena live
in Palm Beach Gardens. Richard and their mother Oracene are
divorced, and Price used her mother's maiden name.

Just last month, the young female African-American murder victim being discussed across the country was one of poet and critic Amiri Baraka's daughters, Shani. Deaths like these invariably send a chill through me because they remind me of the low value placed on the life of a woman of color in America. That includes the lives of women of color from prominent families. So far, none of my siblings have died violently. But, I know it could happen any time.

Note: My blog is Silver Rights.

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