LANCASTER – Oliver Duane Adams was a six-foot-four, physically fit 22-year-old, with green eyes and a gorgeous smile, according to his mother LaZima Hinton.
“My son was very charming, the girls automatically gravitated to him, so he had lots of female friends,” Hinton said. “He made everybody he was with feel special.”
What made her son so attractive to women may have made him a target for rivals at a house party that ended in Oliver’s murder, Hinton said.
“I believe it was jealousy related,” she said. “I think somebody was intimidated by my son.”
On Friday (Sept. 20), Oliver attended a large party at a house on the corner of Essex Drive and Charter Court in Palmdale.
“My son showed up to this party with about three or four beautiful girls, and my son was there to have a good time,” Hinton said. “I was told, when they got to the party, my son was searched to make sure he did not have any weapons.”
Sheriff’s officials believe Oliver had an altercation at the party that escalated into a shooting. Hinton says she talked to her son’s friends in an effort to piece the story together.
“From what I could gather, he was waiting on a guy to come outside to the front of the house, then someone ran out the house shooting, and my son started running,” Hinton said. “From the different stories I have gotten, it could have been anywhere from one to three people shooting at my son. I don’t know if they were gang members or what.”
Friends told Hinton they didn’t know Oliver had been shot while running away.
“One of his friends said she saw Oliver stumble as he was running, then he righted himself and continued to run,” Hinton said. “She said they looked for blood on the ground afterwards and they didn’t see any blood so they didn’t even have a trail to follow.”
Palmdale sheriff’s deputies responded to the party for a “shots fired” call around 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
When deputies arrived, party-goers scattered. Deputies searched the scene and found shell casings but no victim, so they wrote an assault with a deadly weapon report and left.
About nine hours later, an elderly Palmdale resident walked into her backyard in the 5200 block of East Avenue S-4, where Oliver lay motionless. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
“I found out that he died from a single gunshot wound to the back,” Hinton said.
Hinton said the incident has destroyed her life, and her entire family is devastated by the senseless killing. They are desperately seeking answers and pleading with witnesses to step forward, Hinton said.
“My son was brutally murdered, gunned down. And the people at that party know who did this. Please come forward, say something!” Hinton said. “If you’re scared, you can report anonymously. What if it was someone you loved?”
The emotional toll of Oliver’s death has been compounded by the financial strain, Hinton said.
The family is originally from Texas, but moved to the Los Angeles area in 2000, and then to Lancaster in 2007, Hinton said. When she moved back to Dallas two years ago, Oliver and his younger brother remained in Lancaster. Both were enrolled at Antelope Valley College, Hinton said.
Hinton, a home healthcare nurse, said she is struggling to come up with the money to get Oliver’s body from California to Texas for a proper burial in his hometown.
“First and foremost, I’m trying to get him from the morgue. It’s about $3,000 alone just to get him from the morgue to a mortuary so that they can start the embalming process,” she said, adding that transporting the body is a lengthy and expensive process. Along with a gravesite burial, the total cost is estimated at $7,000, Hinton said.
Hinton has set up a PayPal account to receive donations that will help defray the cost of Oliver’s transportation and burial. A donation of any amount is deeply appreciated, she said. To donate to this effort, click here.
Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect(s) responsible for the Oliver’s murder. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Previous related story: Man chased, shot to death in Palmdale