Crime & Justice

Man arrested in shooting of transgender woman in South LA

Police released this photo of Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood, who has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Deshawn Sanchez, 21, a transgender woman, on Dec. 3, 2014.
Police released this photo of Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood, who has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Deshawn Sanchez, 21, a transgender woman, on Dec. 3, 2014.
Police released this photo of Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood, who has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Deshawn Sanchez, 21, a transgender woman, on Dec. 3, 2014.
At a news briefing on Thursday, Feb. 26, police displayed photos of shooting victim Deshawn Sanchez, 21. Sanchez, a transgender woman, was shot and killed on the porch of a South Los Angeles home while phoning authorities to report an assault and robbery on Dec. 3.
LAPD
Police released this photo of Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood, who has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Deshawn Sanchez, 21, a transgender woman, on Dec. 3, 2014.
At a news briefing on Thursday, Feb. 26, authorities announce the arrest of Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood, in connection with the Dec. 3 fatal shooting of Deshawn Sanchez, 21, in South Los Angeles, and an unrelated human trafficking investigation involving an 11-year-old girl on Feb. 8.
LAPD
Police released this photo of Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood, who has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Deshawn Sanchez, 21, a transgender woman, on Dec. 3, 2014.
At a news briefing on Thursday, Feb. 26, a relative of fatal shooting victim Deshawn Sanchez, 21, thanks police for the arrest of suspect Robert James Spells, 30, of Inglewood.
LAPD


Police have arrested a 30-year-old Inglewood man in connection with the December shooting death of a transgender woman as she phoned authorities for assistance in South Los Angeles.

The suspect, Robert James Spells, was taken into custody at about 4 p.m. Wednesday at a relative's residence in Los Angeles by the Pacific Southwest U.S. Marshall Task Force, Los Angeles police said in a press release.

Sanchez, 21, was shot on Dec. 3. She had called authorities at about 4 a.m. that day, stating she needed assistance after she was assaulted and robbed in the 6100 block of South Wilton Place in the Chesterfield Square neighborhood, police said. While on the phone, Sanchez said her assailant had returned and shots were then heard on the call, police said.

Neighbors also called authorities at the time, reporting the sound of shots being fired, police said.

Responding officers and paramedics found Sanchez dead on the porch of a home.

The Operation South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force has also identified Spells as a suspect in a human trafficking investigation of an 11-year-old girl on Feb. 8, police said.