Yetunde Price, the murdered sister of Venus and Serena Williams

Yetunde Price was the loving half-sister of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams – but then she was suddenly killed in a drive-by shooting in 2003.

Yetunde Prize

Vince Bucci/Getty ImagesYetunde Price, left, with Serena Williams during the 2003 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles July 16, 2003, just two months before Price’s death.

Yetunde Price was in the prime of her life on September 14, 2003. By age 31, she was a successful nurse, a successful business owner, and worked part-time as an assistant to her famous sisters, tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

Price had also recently started a promising relationship with a man named Rolland Wormley. But as the new couple drove home through Compton, California after midnight, tragedy struck. At one moment Price and Wormley were talking in the front seat. Gunfire erupted on the next, and Price was killed in a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Yetunde Price’s death deeply affected her younger sisters and was felt throughout their community. And 13 years later, Venus and Serena Williams opened a community center in Compton, where they all grew up, to help victims of violence and honor Price’s short but influential life.

Yetunde Price was just as driven as her famous sisters

Yetunde Prize at Wimbledon

Mike Egerton/EMPICS via Getty ImagesYetunde Price at the 2003 Wimbledon final where her sisters Venus and Serena Williams fought for the championship. Price worked as her personal assistant for many years, while also working as a nurse and running her own hair salon.

Yetunde Price was born on August 9, 1972 in Saginaw, Michigan, the eldest of three daughters of tennis coach Oracene Price and Yusef Rasheed. After Rasheed died of a sudden stroke in 1979, Price married Richard Williams, with whom she had Venus Williams in 1980, and Serena Williams in 1981. In the mid-1980s, the family lived together in Compton, California.

Though her half-sisters shared most of the limelight, Yetunde Price shared her drive for success. She was a senior in her high school and later became a registered nurse.

When Yetunde Price started her own business after Richard moved the rest of the family to Florida so Venus and Serena could attend a prestigious tennis academy, she met a man named Jeffrey Johnson and had a son. But the relationship was abusive and she left him after he went to jail.

Soon after, she met and married Byron Bobbitt and had two more children. In 1997 she reported him to him for domestic violence page sixwhich said: “Husband threatened me with a knife to my throat and said he would kill me if I took his daughter away – and he also physically assaulted me.”

The eldest of Oracene Price’s daughters, Yetunde has always been close to her family, particularly Venus and Serena. And in the 1990s, she worked part-time as her personal assistant, making appointments and keeping up with her communications. She also spoke to them on the phone every evening. More than once she accompanied her to the US Open or to Wimbledon.

With her family’s support, Price left Bobbitt in 2000 and found new success at her own beauty salon in Lakewood, California. With a new business and her children from harm, Price decided to go out with friends one night when she met Rolland Wormley.

Yetunde Price’s tragic death in her car

Yetunde Price death

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesCompton Sheriff’s Officers are investigating the scene where Yetunde Price was fatally shot on September 14, 2003.

On April 30, 2003, Yetunde Price and Rolland Wormley met at a party in Compton. It was his 28th birthday and the surprise party was thrown by mutual friends to celebrate the occasion. As he walked across the dance floor, he noticed that Price was sitting apart from the crowd.

Wormley made it his mission to make sure she had a good time and started chatting with her. After that, the two were inseparable. said Wormley page six, “We talked and danced all night and ended up going to my brother’s after party. We spent the whole night together.” Shortly after they started dating, Yetunde Price asked him to move into her home in Corona, California.

Wormley turned down her offer for a while, believing they should have a more established relationship and strong foundation before they made any big moves. But there was something else holding Wormley back – he had a criminal record for serving time on larceny and domestic violence charges.

Wormley told Price all about his gang membership and its aftermath. And because he wanted to change his life, he hoped to keep Price away from that part of his past.

Then, on September 14, 2003, Yetunde Price was unable to reach Wormley and was upset that he had broken their date night. By the time she reached him it was late and he had to be driven home from a picnic in Compton with friends.

Wormley promised to make it up to her the next day. And just after midnight, Price came to get him. Wormley got behind the wheel of the GMC Yukon Denali and headed back to her house.

Corresponding The Los Angeles TimesAs he was driving, he saw a figure on a street corner in the dark and soon the Denali’s windows were shot out.

“Next, I see lightning at my side. I don’t know if it was from the front or the side… I don’t know how many shots were fired. I don’t even know what race or creed [the attackers] were,” Wormley said The Los Angeles Times.

“I didn’t even look at my lady. I’m trying to get through this. I’m trying to get away, I’m trying to get her to safety… I see the rear window is shattered. I look to the right and said, ‘Baby, are you alright?’ I look at Tunde and there was blood everywhere.”

Wormley raced to his mother’s house nearby to call 911. He left an immobile Yetunde Price in the car. He didn’t know yet, but she had been killed by AK-47 shots.

Police arrested Wormley on allegations of domestic abuse, and he says they didn’t take care of Price until they found out who her sisters were. When her family arrived at the scene, an ambulance drove her away. Doctors pronounced Yetunde Price dead on arrival at the hospital.

How the Williams family healed after the tragedy

Robert Edward Maxfield

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesRobert Edward Maxfield was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first degree manslaughter for killing Yetunde Price.

Los Angeles police held Rolland Wormley for a week on suspicion of killing Yetunde Price. But after multiple interrogations, false accusations, and conflicting testimonies, the LAPD did not have enough evidence to charge him with the crime and released him.

Corresponding The Los Angeles Timesit wasn’t soon enough — he was still in prison when Yetunde Price’s family held a funeral and buried her in Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills.

Four months later, police found Yetunde Price’s real killer, 25-year-old Robert Edward Maxfield. Maxfield was a member of the Crips, who later apologized to Wormley for the death. Prosecutors claimed he fired for mistaking Price’s car for that of a rival gang member. He pleaded no contest to first degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2006.

Wormley fell back into crime and was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2004. In March 2018, Maxfield was paroled three years before his sentence was due to expire. He was arrested a short time later for violating the terms of his probation.

The Williams family opened the Yetunde Price Resource Center in 2016, just steps from the site where Price was murdered and the public tennis courts where Venus and Serena Williams first learned the game. The center aims to help victims of violence and support their families in hopes of breaking the cycle of violence in their community.

“Yetunde and I were so close; She changed my diapers,” Serena Williams said persons in 2007. “But I finally came to an acceptance of things.”

The opening of the Compton community center was a form of healing for the family. During the ribbon cutting, Serena Williams said, “We definitely wanted to honor our sister’s memory because she was a great sister, she was our oldest sister and obviously she meant a lot to us,” said Serena Williams The root.

“And it meant a lot to us, myself and also to Venus and my other sisters, Isha and Lyndrea, that for years we’ve wanted to do something to commemorate them, especially how it happened, a violent crime.”


After reading about Yetunde Price’s murder, you’ll learn the sad story of Ennis Cosby, Bill Cosby’s son, who was shot dead in cold blood on the side of a Los Angeles freeway. Then go into the heartbreaking Death of Robin Williams and the terrible disease he never knew he had.

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