Man arrested in shooting death of Williams sister

Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2003

COMPTON, Calif. A man was arrested in the shooting death of a sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, and authorities searched Monday for four other possible suspects in the slaying outside a house known to attract gang members.

Aaron Michael Hammer, 24, was booked for investigation of murder late Sunday and jailed without bail. Sheriff's deputies said he had ties to a gang but was not a member.

Yetunde Price, 31, was shot in the chest early Sunday about a mile from the tennis courts where her younger sisters first rose to prominence in this gang- and violence-plagued city outside Los Angeles.

The motive for the slaying remained under investigation.

As many as four other possible suspects were being sought, Deputy Richard Pena said.

Price was killed by a gunman standing in front of a house where gang members have been known to gather and where drugs have been sold in the past, authorities said.

''At this point we just don't know if this is gang or narcotics,'' said sheriff's Lt. Daniel Rosenberg, a homicide detective. ''I can tell you there are certain indications to suggest this location has involved either gangs or drugs. The house was troublesome to both the residents in the community and the deputies in Compton station.''

Price, who no longer lived in Compton, was sitting with a man in a sport utility vehicle shortly after midnight when they got into a confrontation with several neighborhood residents, Pena said.

Authorities said it was not known whether Price knew her assailant.

The man with Price was uninjured and drove her to a relative's house, where he called 911, authorities said. Price was then taken to a hospital, where she died.

The man with Price, Rolland Wormley, 28, was arrested for investigation of violating his parole and assault with a deadly weapon using a firearm. Sheriff's Deputy Bill Spear could not say whether the alleged assault involved Sunday's confrontation.

Wormley and Hammer were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys.

An assault rifle was found at the scene, and neighbors reported hearing six to 20 gunshots.

Price, one of five sisters who spent their early years in Compton, was a registered nurse who owned a beauty salon. She also served as a personal assistant to her famous half-sisters, who moved to Florida with their parents when they turned pro as teenagers.

Price was divorced and had three children, ages 5, 9 and 11. She lived in Corona, 40 miles from Compton.

Raymone Bain, publicist for Serena Williams, said the family was in shock over Price's death.

''They're all together now, leaning on each other, trying to come to terms with this,'' Bain said. ''I know it's going to take them a long time to recover from this.''

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