How Los Angeles became a hotbed for terrifying ‘follow home’ robberies


For the past seven weeks, Donna Martin has kept vigil at the bedside of her son, Christopher Charles Martin.

Some days Christopher, 27, is able to move his limbs and his eyes, and Martin believes he is trying to comfort her when he hears her cry.

“Christopher has always been a protector,” said Martin. “He is very protective of me, and all of his family members.”

An entrepreneur and musician who performs under the name Donn Sway, Christopher founded a mentoring business to help boys who want to play college football assemble their college application materials. He also helped take care of his grandmother “in her final stages of dementia,” and always stood up for his younger brother Tyler, who suffers from schizophrenia, Martin recalled.

On April 15, Christopher’s protectiveness nearly cost him his life after he was shot in the head while trying to defend friends during a “follow-home” robbery — a trend that has terrorized Angelenos since last year.

Distinguished by their coordination and brutality, the attacks target people leaving upscale restaurants, hotels or posh clubs. The perpetrators often send “spotters” — individuals who look for well-dressed people with expensive jewelry, luxury cars or Rolex watches — to alert other gang members who entrap the victims.


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