The actor Merlin Santana was shot and killed by a man named Damien Andre Gates on Nov. 9, 2002. Another man and a woman were convicted of lesser charges in the case. The incident was sparked by a false accusation of rape leveled at Santana and a possible attempted robbery.
Prior to the shooting, Monique King, who was only 15 at the time, told her boyfriend Gates that Santana had made unwanted sexual advances towards her. She later admitted that this wasn't the case. However, the official report on the case indicates that King's accusations played a role in prompting Gates to shoot Santana.