Jahon Smith, 47, was arrested Monday in connection with the Aug. 8, 2001, killings of Stephen Murphy and his daughter Kali, who were shot in 13100 block of Willowbrook Ave. Murphy was shot on the front porch of his grandmother’s house as he tried to carry his daughter to safety when he heard the gunfire erupt, officials said.
According to District Attorney George Gascón, Smith was charged Wednesday with two counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder. The charges include a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and an allegation of personal use of a handgun.
Officials said earlier that Murphy and his daughter were visiting his grandmother, and Murphy was getting ready to put his daughter in the back seat of his car when the gunfire erupted.
Reynaga said during a September news conference to renew public interest in the case that Murphy and his daughter were simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they were an accident to the killers who were out there trying to commit murder.”
Witnesses provided a basic description of two male suspects in the crime, and sheriff’s officials released artist renderings in hopes of generating tips from the public. Reynaga said the suspects in that shooting were driving a gray Chevrolet Caprice.
The shootings began in the 13300 block of Largo Avenue, where a victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the head and shoulder, Reynaga said. A short time later, a non-injury shooting occurred in the 2300 block of Lucien Street.
Another shooting occurred a short time later in the 2000 block of West 131st Street, where a 15-year-old boy suffered a graze wound to the head, Reynaga said. After that, a sheriff’s deputy was shot at, but was not struck, in the 1900 block of North Anzac Avenue.
Relatives of Stephen and Kali Murphy attended the September news conference to also urge anyone with information to come forward.
“… His friends still contact me and talk to me til this very day. … He had good friends, a loving family. And Kali was only 2 years old so you know she was innocent.”