The Story of the Tragic Killing of Venus & Serena Williams' Sister: 'There Was Blood Everywhere' (2022)

The gunfire that killed Yetunde Price early on Sept. 14, 2003, seemed to come from nowhere — cracking through a window of her white SUV and hitting her in the back of the head.

Rolland Wormley, later described alternately as Price’s boyfriend and fiancé, was behind the wheel that night and recalled the shooting as a burst of chaos during their drive back from Compton, California, to Price’s half a million dollar home in Corona some 40 miles to the east.

“I’m trying to get through this. I’m trying to get away, I’m trying to get her to safety,” Wormley told the Los Angeles Times. “Once I get to Long Beach Boulevard, I see the back window is shattered. I look to the right and said, ‘Baby, are you all right?’ I look at [Price] and there was blood everywhere.”

Frantic, Wormley took Price to his mother’s house not far away, where she called 911. Price, 31, was pronounced dead at an area hospital not long after.

She was the oldest sister of Serena and Venus Williams. She’d been shot about a mile and a half from the tennis courts where her younger sisters learned to play the sport that made them stars.

“When [Venus and Serena] received the calls from all of us here, they were saying, ‘Are you sure this is correct?’ They couldn’t believe it,” a spokeswoman for the family told PEOPLE in the days after Price died.

This account of Price’s slaying and its subsequent investigation — a 15-year-old homicide thrust again into the spotlight by the release of her killer, according to authorities — is based on previous PEOPLE reporting as well as articles from the Associated Press, the L.A. Times and the New York Times.

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The Story of the Tragic Killing of Venus & Serena Williams' Sister: 'There Was Blood Everywhere' (1)

The Williams’ sister’s sudden death sent shockwaves through the close-knit family. Venus got the news in New York City, where she was visiting for Fashion Week. Serena was in Toronto shooting cable series Street Time and by one account became visibly distraught when she learned her sister had been fatally shot. Both flew to L.A., where they were joined by mom Oracene (who had Price in a previous relationship) and their dad, Richard.

In those first hours and days afterward, however, it remained unclear exactly what happened, with witnesses giving differing accounts that suggested there had been an altercation before the shooting that involved Price and Wormley.

In fact, investigators would come to learn, the gunman had opened fire on their vehicle as they drove down the boulevard by a suspected drug house. Wormley maintained the attack was unprovoked, though prosecutors argued the shooting was revenge against another gang.

Apprehension of the accused was no less fraught: While one of the alleged shooters was taken into custody within hours, the second, Robert Edward Maxfield, was not caught until January 2004, following months of tracking by law enforcement.

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Maxfield, whom police said was a member of the Southside Crips, was arrested in a raid in Athens, California. He was unsuccessfully tried twice for murder before pleading no-contest to a lesser charge just before the start of his third trial.

(A no-contest plea essentially has the same effect as a guilty plea, but the defendant does not admit the accusations against them.)

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

In April 2006, nearly three years after Price was shot, Maxfield was sentenced to 15 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, with credit for the time he had already served behind bars.

In March, he was released on parole. Then, he was arrested again in Compton, last week, for allegedly violating his parole.

The status of his case was unclear on Thursday and efforts to reach him directly or a previous attorney in his case were unsuccessful.

Speaking generically, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told PEOPLE that someone who violates their parole then goes before a judge could have their parole revoked, at which point they would be sent back to jail.

The DOC’s Luis Patiño confirmed that the possible parole violation is being investigated.

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The Story of the Tragic Killing of Venus & Serena Williams' Sister: 'There Was Blood Everywhere' (2)

Meanwhile, in the wake of Price’s killing, the Williams family grieved and healed — slowly. “She was a wonderful person,” Serena said in 2004. “We’re dealing with it however we can. Some days are better than others.”

Serena appeared at Maxfield’s court hearings for the first time when he was sentenced in 2006. According to the Times, she told him that, while she hadn’t planned to speak “because it’s too hard for me,” she felt it was more important to say how “unfair” Price’s killing had been “to our family.”

“Our family has always been positive and we always try to help people,” she said.

In an interview with PEOPLE in 2007, Serena said it was “still hard for me to talk about.”

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

‘She Meant a Lot to Us’

Price, a nurse, mother of three and part owner of a modest hair salon, also worked as a personal assistant to Serena and Venus, keeping track of their appointments and the like, even joining them at Wimbledon. But she also led a largely independent life in California.

In an interview with PEOPLE in August 2003, shortly before she died, Price seemed to have no regrets about steering clear of the slipstream of her famous kin. “They’re still my sisters,” she said. “We don’t get into the fame thing too much when we’re all together as a family.”

Price lived in a comfortable home in an upscale neighborhood in Corona. According to locals, she doted on her three kids, two boys and a girl, all of whom were under the age of 12 when she was killed. On the evening before the shooting, Price and her children visited with friends across the street. She watched part of the Oscar De La Hoya boxing match before making sure the kids would be taken care of and heading off with Wormley on her fatal trip.

Wormley told the L.A. Times that he had been at a picnic and she came to pick him up after he lost track of time that night.

The Story of the Tragic Killing of Venus & Serena Williams' Sister: 'There Was Blood Everywhere' (4)

Nearly 15 years later, Price’s spirit remains strong both in her family and the community where they grew up. Serena and Venus opened the Yetunde Price Resource Center, in Compton, in late 2016.

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“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,” Serena said then, according to The Root. “And it meant a lot to us, to myself and to Venus and my other sisters as well, Isha and Lyndrea, that we’ve been wanting to do something for years in memory of her, especially the way it happened, a violent crime.”

“Basically, how does the family react? If her kids didn’t have my mom and us, it could be really devastating,” Serena said. “But we had such a great system that they’re doing pretty good. We just felt like people that didn’t have that opportunity to fall back on, what could they do? And that’s kind of how this resource center came about.”

• With reporting by CHRISTINE PELISEK

FAQs

Is Yetunde Williams Still Alive? ›

What do Venus and Serenas sister do? ›

Lyndrea Price, 41, works as a creative costumer for Venus' clothing brand, Eleven. Isha Price, 47, is an American lawyer and producer. She is one of the producers of 'King Richard,' a film following the father and coach of famed tennis players and daughters.

Who won more Venus or Serena? ›

Venus has won 49 singles titles over the course of her career, and Serena won 73. The Williams sisters are the only two women during the Open Era to contest four consecutive major finals: from the 2002 French Open to the 2003 Australian Open. Serena won all four of these finals.

What happened to Venus and Serenas dad? ›

Richard Williams, Father Of Venus And Serena, Reportedly Suffered Stroke Before Wimbledon. Richard Williams was the driving force behind the girls when they began playing tennis and still influences them despite stepping away as their coach a few years ago.

How wealthy is Serena Williams? ›

That has helped secure her a place on Forbes' list of America's richest self-made women, at No. 90 with an estimated net worth of $260 million.

Is Serena Williams retiring? ›

Tennis superstar Serena Williams took part in her last professional tournament at the 2022 US Open, announcing her retirement after a remarkable 27-year career. After 27 years, 23 Grand Slams, and four Olympic gold medals, Williams left her mark on women's tennis.

Is Venus Williams in a relationship? ›

Is Venus Williams Dating Anyone? It appears the tennis champion is single as of 2022.

How much is a Yetunde valedictorian worth? ›

Though her half-sisters have shared most of the spotlight, Yetunde Price shared their drive for success. She was valedictorian of her high school and went on to become a nurse.

Is Venus Williams still playing tennis? ›

Prior to Wimbledon earlier this year where she entered the mixed doubles event with Great Britain's Jamie Murray, Williams hasn't set foot on a competitive tennis court since August 2021 due to a leg injury, raising questions about her future in the sport.

Why did Venus quit tennis? ›

The period between 2003 and 2006 was a difficult one for Williams as she suffered injury troubles. These problems lasted for a number of seasons with an abdominal injury stopping her from playing the second half of 2003.

Who is the best tennis player of all time? ›

Novak Djokovic

Are Venus and Serena friends? ›

The bond between Venus and Serena Williams is legendary. The sisters have been great rivals on the court, but share a close bond off it. They also share a deep connection with their half-sisters.

Who is Serena's father Gossip Girl? ›

Dr. William van der Woodsen, portrayed by William Baldwin in seasons three, four, five and six, is Lily's first husband and the father of Serena and Eric.

What happened to Serena's dad Gossip Girl? ›

William explains that after he went on long business trips that left Lily with no stability, she asked for a divorce. After they divorced, he became unsure on how to come back to Serena and Eric and so he just chose to stay away.

How does Venus and Serena feel about their dad? ›

Richard still shares a relationship with Venus and Serena Williams. Richard maintains a cordial relationship with his daughters and their families, despite his inability to attend their tournaments as a cheerful parent.

Who is the richest person in the world? ›

Jeff Bezos

Is Serena husband a billionaire? ›

As of 2019, Forbes estimated Ohanian's net worth as $70 million.
...
Alexis Ohanian
OccupationEntrepreneur venture capitalist investor
Notable workReddit Initialized Capital 776
SpouseSerena Williams ​ ( m. 2017)​
Children1
4 more rows

How much did Nike pay Serena Williams? ›

Serena is worth $210 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which includes the $94 million she's made in prize money from tennis tournaments and the $55 million she made from her eight-year endorsement deal with Nike.

Why is Serena called Goat? ›

Still, she is widely considered the GOAT because of her domination across more than two decades. She won matches in her teens, 20s, 30s and 40s. “What Serena has done is leaps and bounds ahead of what anyone has accomplished in this sport,” ESPN's James Blake said on air this week.

What is Serena famous quote? ›

The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you're very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.”

Will Serena play again? ›

Serena Williams to retire from tennis after U.S. Open

Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes of all time, announced on Tuesday that she will retire from tennis following the 2022 US Open at the end of August.

Does Venus Williams have a baby? ›

While Venus does not have any children of her own, she plays a strong role in sister Serena's daughter's upbringing. “[Venus is] great,” Serena – who welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. with her husband in September 2017 – told Today at the 2019 Palace Invitational at Lotte New York Palace.

What does Venus Williams husband do for a living? ›

Single and happy. Venus Williams used to date Nicholas Hammond, who is a successful financier and an heir to the Annenberg family fortune. The couple was even spotted during the wedding of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian. He also supported Venus during his matches.

Are Serena and Venus married? ›

VENUS Williams has been in the spotlight most of her life alongside her sister, Serena, due to their impressive tennis skills. Since 2017, Serena has been married to Alexis Ohanian, causing many to wonder who her famous sister has dated.

Is Yetundes death in King Richard? ›

Though it's not mentioned in the film, Yetunde 'Tunde' Price, portrayed by Mikayla Lashae Bartholomew in the King Richard movie, was killed in a shooting in Compton in 2003.

Who raised Yetunde kids? ›

She and her sisters, Lyndrea and Isha, were raised by Oracene and her new husband, Richard Williams, along with their half-sisters Venus and Serena. Yetunde had her son Jeffrey, who was 11 at the time of his mom's death, with Jeffrey Johnson.

Why did Yetunde Price still live in Compton? ›

Before becoming a personal assistant, Price worked as a nurse for nine years at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California. This was a decision that led her to stay in Compton even as her entire family moved to Florida when her sisters' tennis careers started blooming, according to the Los Angeles Times.

What age did Serena Williams turn pro? ›

Serena became a professional tennis player when she was just 14 years old. Even at this young age, the two Williams sisters were getting a lot of attention from the press because of their talent. In 1998, Serena won her first match at a Grand Slam competition.

Is Venus retiring too? ›

Venus, 42, has not announced any retirement plans, but some in the tennis world believe she will also call it quits after playing the Open.

When did Serena turn pro? ›

Last updated on: September 12, 2022. Along with her older sister Venus, Serena Williams was coached by her parents Oracene Price and Richard Williams. Turning professional in 1995, she won her first major singles title at the 1999 US Open.

What does Venus Williams eat? ›

She eats mostly plant-based foods, but don't be surprised if you catch her slipping. Instead of saying she's fully vegan, Venus prefers to call herself a "chegan," aka a vegan who cheats. She also likes taking supplements for an extra boost of wellness and nutrition.

Why did Venus Williams go vegan? ›

The tennis star went vegan back in 2011 when she was diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome, a debilitating autoimmune disease with a range of symptoms from joint pain to swelling, numbness, burning eyes, digestive problems, and fatigue.

How does someone get Sjogren's syndrome? ›

Scientists aren't certain why some people develop Sjogren's syndrome. Certain genes put people at higher risk of the disorder, but it appears that a triggering mechanism — such as infection with a particular virus or strain of bacteria — is also necessary.

Who is the most loved tennis player? ›

  • Roger Federer.
  • Rod Laver. image credit-www.google.com.
  • Pete Sampras. image credit-www.google.com.
  • Bjorn Borg. image credit-www.pinterest.com.
  • Ivan Lendl. image credit-www.google.com.
  • Jimmy Connors. image credit-www.google.com.
  • John McEnroe. image c redit-www.google.com.
  • Andre Agassi. image credit-time.com.

Who is best female tennis player of all time? ›

Serena Williams's status as the best ever is rock solid. I know that Margaret Court won 24 major singles titles and that Williams has won only 23 (Wimbledon and the Australian, French and United States opens are the four major tennis championships). But this is where knowing sports history helps.

Who is No 1 female tennis player in the world? ›

Iga Swiatek

Do Venus and Serena talk to each other? ›

Serena Williams said she and her sister, Venus Williams, rarely "talk much tennis" together. Though the pair grew up playing together and have gone on to become two of the most accomplished players in the history of the sport, the Williams sisters have plenty of other things to discuss in their day-to-day lives.

Are Venus and Serena best friends? ›

Venus has won seven major championships. Serena 23. There is also no doubting the sibling bond between the two of them. “Best friends,” Venus said.

Who has won all 4 Grand Slams tennis? ›

Remarkably, only one player has completed the Golden Slam within a single calendar season. It is Germany's Steffi Graf. What is this? Graf achieved the Golden Slam by winning the 1988 Olympic gold medal, the 1988 Australian Open, the 1988 French Open, the 1988 Wimbledon Championships, and the 1988 US Open.

What happened to Yetunde? ›

Yetunde Price's Tragic Death In Her Car. Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesCompton Sheriff officers investigate the crime 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.

Did one of the Williams sisters passed away? ›

Yetunde Hawanya Tara Price (August 9, 1972 – September 14, 2003) was the oldest half-sister of and personal assistant to the leading tennis players Venus and Serena Williams.
...
Murder of Yetunde Price.
Yetunde Price
DiedSeptember 14, 2003 (aged 31) Compton, California, U.S.
Children3
ParentOracene Price (mother)
2 more rows

How old is Yetunde Williams? ›

Why did Yetunde Price still live in Compton? ›

Before becoming a personal assistant, Price worked as a nurse for nine years at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California. This was a decision that led her to stay in Compton even as her entire family moved to Florida when her sisters' tennis careers started blooming, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Is Venus Williams in a relationship? ›

Is Venus Williams Dating Anyone? It appears the tennis champion is single as of 2022.

What did Yetunde Price do for a living? ›

"He was paroled in March after serving his full-term of his sentence, as defined by law." Price worked as a registered nurse and also spent time as a personal assistant to both Williams sisters during the early stages of their tennis careers.

Did Venus win her first pro match? ›

Williams made her debut at the Bank of the West Classic in October 1994. In her very first match she was up against fellow American Shaun Stafford, who had reached the fourth round at Roland Garros earlier that year. She made a triumphant start to her professional career, winning her debut match 6-3 6-4.

What Williams sister got shot? ›

Serena opened up for the first time in a long time to Wadler about her half-sister Yetunde Price, who was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, California, in 2003. Price, who was Serena and Venus' older sister, was shot and killed by Robert Maxfield in Compton.

Is Venus Williams still playing tennis? ›

Prior to Wimbledon earlier this year where she entered the mixed doubles event with Great Britain's Jamie Murray, Williams hasn't set foot on a competitive tennis court since August 2021 due to a leg injury, raising questions about her future in the sport.

Does Venus Williams have a husband? ›

While Venus is single as of 2022, she has previously been linked to Australian actor Nicholas Hammond, Cuban model Elio Pis and professional golfer Hank Kuehne.

Is King Richard still living? ›

According to The New York Post, the 79-year-old currently lives in Atlanta and suffers from poor health conditions.

How accurate is King Richard the movie? ›

King Richard is (mostly) a true story. Of course, there are some embellishes here or there, but for the most part, the narrative is accurate. Getting beaten in front of his kids was a regular occurrence. He did removeVenus and Serena from junior competitions.

How much of the movie King Richard is true? ›

King Richard does a pretty stand-up job of maintaining a solid balance of reality and fiction when chronicling the story of Richard Williams and his famous daughters Venus and Serena. Richard's 85-page plan is wholly real, though some of his reasoning behind it may be inflated.

What does Serena Williams do for charity? ›

Appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in 2011, Serena championed the UNICEF Schools for Africa initiative, providing education to the most marginalized and vulnerable children. Most recently, Serena supported the #EveryChildAlive campaign by advocating for affordable, quality health care for every mother and newborn.

Do the Williams sisters give back to Compton? ›

Venus and Serena Williams are a dominant pair on the tennis court, and now the sisters are teaming up to contribute to their hometown of Compton, California, by opening up a community center to support residents affected by gun violence.

Who raised Yetunde kids? ›

She and her sisters, Lyndrea and Isha, were raised by Oracene and her new husband, Richard Williams, along with their half-sisters Venus and Serena. Yetunde had her son Jeffrey, who was 11 at the time of his mom's death, with Jeffrey Johnson.

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