A 25-year-old youth counselor was beaten to death at the ‘Wayfinder Family Services’ on Saturday, officials say. Police responded to the scene in the Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles and took seven teenagers into custody.
The victim was identified as David McKnight-Hillman. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Hillman was attempting to break up a brawl between the teens when he was attacked.
Two 18-year-olds, identified as Nyier Mason and Keith Lewis, were charged with murder. The identities of the other five suspects were not released due to their age.
Deputies are still searching for one teenager who fled the scene.
The full press release from LASD reads as follows: Homicide detectives are investigating the murder of victim David Mcknight-Hillman, it occurred at the 5300 block of Angeles Vista Boulevard, Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives are investigating the murder of victim David Mcknight-Hillman, who was a counselor at the location where he was murdered.
On Saturday, January 2, 2021, at approximately 9:51pm deputies from the Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s station responded to the 5300 block of Angeles Vista Boulevard, Los Angeles, regarding a call of juveniles involved in a fight. The location of the incident is named Wayfinder Family Services, a private non-profit community-based organization licensed by the State of California. The business provides residential therapeutic services to children and youth who are placed by the Department of Children and Family Services.
Upon the deputy’s arrival, they found a male adult suffering from what appeared to be blunt force trauma injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Homicide investigators learned that the victim was a counselor at the location, whose responsibilities included the day to day care of the residents. Victim David Mcknight-Hillman attempted to break up a fight when he was assaulted.
There were seven individuals identified as assaulting the victim. Five were juveniles and two were eighteen years old. Four of the five juveniles were booked at East Lake Juvenile hall. The fifth juvenile is still outstanding, however he is a named person and detectives are actively searching for him. The two eighteen year olds were booked at Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s Station on charges of Murder.
Investigators will present the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on January 5, 2021, for consideration of filing a formal complaint.
The motive for this incident is known. The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information at this time.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
BREAKING: Youth counselor, 25, beaten to death by teens at Los Angeles group home; Seven teenagers in custody and one fled the scene – KABC
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 5, 2021
According to the facility’s website, “Wayfinder provides a range of trauma-informed services to help children, youth and adults discover their path to sustained well-being.”