Basketball was the foundation for the long friendship between Montrose resident Natasha Belou and Keith Lawrence, the Irvine man who was shot to death in a car with his fiancé, Monica Quan, on Sunday night.

Police are seeking Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD police officer, in the incident. Dorner later shot three police officers – one fatally – in two separate incidents following the discovery of a manifesto he had written against former colleagues and their families.

Belou and Lawrence met when they played on basketball teams at Moopark College. Eventually, Lawrence transferred to Concordia University, where he met Quan, and Belou transferred to Chapman University.

“But we were so excited because we were still close,” she said, referring to the proximity of the two schools in Orange County.

Last Friday, Lawrence went with Belou to a basketball game at Glendale High School, where her brother is an assistant coach. Quan was not able to attend.

“We were both analyzing the game,” she said with a chuckle.

Afterward, they went with friends to the Hill Street Café in La Cañada to grab a bite to eat.

Later, in the café parking lot around midnight, they joked about going to get doughnuts, one of their favorite activities, but they decided not to grab a sweet treat.

Lawrence said he would text Belou once he got home, which he did and told her he’d had fun that night.

After Belou texted that she’d had fun, too, Lawrence replied that he’d picked up doughnuts on the way home.

“Of course you did,” Belou texted back.

Remembering Lawrence as a mellow person, Belou said she was looking forward to serving as a “groomsman” in his upcoming wedding to Quan.

She was going to wear a bride’s maid dress, but in the groom’s colors, Belou said, adding that Quan wanted her wedding color to be red.

She didn’t know if Lawrence and Quan had set a wedding date.

Belou said she still feels like she’s going to get a text or phone call from Lawrence or Quan.
“I’m expecting to keep congratulating them” she said.

--Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.