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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shooting leaves one man dead in Echo Park pot clinic *

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One man was killed and another injured following an afternoon shooting and attempted robbery inside an Echo Park  medical marijuana clinic on Sunset Boulevard  LAPD spokeswoman Rosario Herrera, citing preliminary information, said the two victims – described as Latino males – were shot after several armed suspects entered the marijuana dispensary – The Higher Path – shortly after 4 PM in the 1300 block of Sunset Boulevard. Both victims were employees at the dispensary.

Several hours later, the employee of a Hollywood pot clinic was killed during a separate attempted robbery, according to LA Now.

The Echo Park shooting left residents who lived nearby unable to return to their homes for more than six  hours and shut down Sunset Boulevard during the rush hour as police searched for suspects  believed to have fled into a nearby apartment building. At 11 PM, some residents were being allowed to walk to their homes but Sunset Boulevard between Marion Avenue and Elysian Park Avenue remain closed.  No suspects has been apprehended, according to one officer.

The LAPD has shut down  Sunset Boulevard at Elysian Park Avenue as they surrounded an apartment building at 1320 Sunset Boulevard.  Police were seen detaining two men on Allison Street in Angeleno Heights near the scene of the shooting. Meanwhile,  all traffic on Sunset Boulevard was backing up during the evening rush hour, with commuters spilling into side streets.

Residents were not allowed to leave or enter the apartment building.  Alejandro Avalos, who lives in the apartment building, said he was going home to pick up his family to attend his son’s graduation at Cal State LA when he was stopped by police. “They don’t know nothing – they can’t go out,”  said Avalos after speaking to a family member on his mobile phone.

A person who identified herself as the daughter of Avalos posted a comment to this story that said: “I can’t believe what is happening. My mom is going crazy because she is missing out the ceremony and there is nothing we can do about it.”

Another resident of the building, Bertha Lopez,  said her daughter remained in their apartment, where the 15-year-old girl said  she heard  gunfire and sound of people running in the building. “I told her to lock herself in the bathroom,” said Lopez after a brief phone conversation with her daughter.

Several hours later, at Sunset Boulevard and Marion Avenue, more than a dozen people pressed against the police tape as they waited to return to their homes.  Alejandro Mares was riding a Metro bus on Sunset Boulevard when it was stopped by police and its passengers ordered to get off only about a half block from his home. “I have medicines at home that I have taken. I have not eaten dinner, ” said Mares, who could see but could not walk to his home beyond police lines.

A woman named Adija was left stranded with her groceries and her dog, Nina, after they were unable to get home after a trip to the market. “I have groceries in my car. Nothing is going to go bad – unless we are here until morning. “Please let us go home!”

About 30 minutes later,  residents cheered after a police officer said they could cross beyond the yellow caution tape and go home.

*Update at 11:24 PM: Sunset was still blocked off to vehicle traffic but some residents were being allowed to walk back to their homes.  One police officer said none of the suspects has been apprehended.

* Update at 8 PM: Sunset Boulevard remains blocked off, with a line of fire trucks, squad cars and other emergency vehicles parked on Sunset Boulevard near Marion Street. Officer Herrera said the two victims were employees of the clinic and were shot during a robbery.

Bottom image from Google Maps

59 comments

  1. Its prolly them obs or lcm guys they’re looking for. They’re the scum of the earth shooting babys or at people who have children with them. Hopefully they catch that coward and he rots in hell.

  2. echo park resident

    My roommate was on the bus earlier and was told that it was a shooting inside the one remaining pot clinic over there.

    But it must be Orientals, or Mexicans or maybe the Oklahoma Bird Society according to Jack’s drunkass liver.

  3. Echo Park is scaring me. Which pot club? The higher path?

  4. yeah – right around the corner form my building….was on the roof a bit ago watching….hope they find the fucker!

  5. I also believe it was OBS, all they do is tag there. Damn posers.

  6. I live a block down from the “pot clinic” where all this started. OBS is all over angelino Heights, they tag up and down my street weekly. Another gang (SVP) immediately crosses it out, and so on, and so on. Its scary. I have kids. Can we get a police surveillance camera or something? Does anyone have an idea of how to get something like that initiated? I’m not so sure they are just posers.

  7. Alejandra Avalos

    I’m the dauther of Alejandro Avalos and I’m here at the aparment building without been able to leave my house!!
    I can’t believe what is happening. My mom is going crazy because she is missing out the ceremony and there is nothing we can do about it :[

  8. does it seem like echo park is off to a bad start this summer? a shooting on my street last month, the bar shooting last week and now this? is this normal for the ‘hood’ ? i haven’t lived here long enough to know.

  9. Honeygrubber I would so be willing to hang out with you at your pad! I love taggers! hit me up cheesev1@hotmail.com

  10. Death penalty for taggers would clear some of this up real fast.

  11. what does OBS stand for?? :|

  12. Don't threaten me with a good time

    It seems that all the thugs who were locked up in the 90′s are coming out & with a vengeance?!
    i dunno…

  13. Get rid of rent controls and gentrify your neighborhoods. It is the only way to prevent gangs in your area.

  14. can you handle it**

    What ever you do do not be scared of Echo Park. That is exactly what the Echo Park Stupid ass Gangsters are trying to do. Scare off non-locals because they feel like there being gentrified. I say fuck them, they don’t own shit and instead of hanging out there windows trying to claim shit they rent they should be in school trying to actually get an education so that one day they can afford the going rate of the Market. I despise those gangster piece of sh*ts.

  15. I thought 400 clinics closed a few weeks ago?!

  16. I didn’t know there was a pot clinic open there. That’s so convenient. I’ll be sure to go there next time I need my medicines.

  17. OBS stands for O sirey boys whatever the fuck that means and lcm los crazy mexicans. I’ve been told they don’t like white people in the area. They’re predominantly on the angeleno heights side. Here’s a picture of what one of them looks like. http://www.myspace.com/185165923 They even feel they’re above the law. Stupid people nowadays haha.

  18. and they say it is a harmless drug…

  19. And they say weed doesn’t kill. Kill a worker for weed? Very cerebral! Idiots!

  20. lame news all around. this is one of the reasons why people object to the pot shops. lots of weed and lots of money; too much of attraction for the criminal element. i suppose if I was a thug, it would probably be the ultimate place to rob. can’t understand why they would shoot someone though.

  21. These are all very insightful comments. I particularly love the one talking about the gangsters and “thinking” they are being gentrified. This is not just a thought my friend, it’s fact. I’ve been living in Echo Park and the small sorrounding cities all of my life. I now live in Silverlake. I’ve seen the rent go up, bars increase their prices, small mom and pop shops close down being replaced by bullshit “vintage” clothing shops and seeing all of these white folk from Ohio or Connecticut driving around in their 2010 Prius’s, thinking they own these streets. Non the less, I still go to Barragans on Wednesday nights or The Gold Room after a Dodgers game, I’m proud of my stomping ground. Maybe, you non locals should get the fuck out, since your too busy getting a higher education on your parents dime. Some of us have to work for a living. :D

  22. Between this shooting and the one at the Echo many people are freaking out about the downturn of the neighborhood. Has anyone watched the 1993 movie Mi Vida Loca lately? Anyone one remember the weekly fatal shootings at the Suku Suku Club on Echo Park Ave? Lucas Salon and whatever the latest hipster knick knack shop next door are located where that nasty bar used to be. People need to get a grip and gain some perspective about how safer Echo Park is today compared to years past. The Eastsider LA does a great job benefiting our community by updating us on current events. Imagine what Jesus’ blog would have been like back then. The 911 section would have been epic!

  23. CSULA had their graduations on june 11th-12th.

    Lincoln HS is having their graduation at CSULA today.

  24. Please keep in mind that most of us long time locals are not gang members and have been the victims of those idiots for a long long time. Also, Echo Park has a long history of artist residents of all ethnic backgrounds. There have been artists here since the thirties. Hard working families can get along with everyone. The problem has always been the criminals.

  25. Gangsters… that use Myspace? Really? Thats lame. I mean at least get on Twitter to spew your bullshit no one cares about. Like the rest of us :)

  26. We, finally, managed to get out of the building around 7:30pm, but it was too late because my brother’s ceremony was over! My brother was really down and disappointed. We didn’t even get to go out for dinner. After picking him up, we came back home and had to wait outside in the cold. Now we are finally home again and there are still police officers around. Hopefully everything gets back to normal soon.

  27. Channel 5 @ 10 PM just reported another marijuana clinic shooting in N. Hollywood which resulted in an employee death. Hazardous work environment from appearances. Likely an unsafe customer environment also.

  28. Well this certainly isn’t going to help the case of those 150 pot clinics that are vowing to defy the city’s closure order and stay open.

    @Sue – Sorry we can’t all be Echo Park natives. I know its the cultural hub of the world and all.

  29. Chris L, FTW! LOL.

  30. Does anyone know who was killed? the owners of the Higher Path and the staff were always wonderful people, its unfortunate what happened today. I’d like to send my condolences to the victim’s family …

  31. Sue, your comment is blatantly racist, just as sure as calling you a bitch is misogynistic. You rail against the white folk who drive around in their 2010 Priuses, “thinking they own these streets.” If someone accused Latinos or African-Americans of driving around in their Chevys or Escalades and thinking they own these streets, everyone would call it a racist comment, and rightly so. But for some reason, people can say all kinds of racist things against Anglos, and as long as they declare themselves anti-gentrification, they get a pass. I hate hypocritical idiots like you, Sue. Don’t like my comment? Sue me. (Sorry; I had to sneak in a pun.)

  32. this blog has gotten off coarse and become a racial war. I feel sorry for those poor people who got shot today. They are victims no matte what their skin color.
    Poor people rob other poor people and their small business. Sometimes they rob bigger stores but usually its mom n pop shops that bare the abuse. Ive been living on the edge of artsy gentrification neighborhoods my entire adult life. I prefer a rougher neighborhood and lessor rent to a gentrified hoody with outsiders who have no connections to the community they are purchasing and renting out to make money.It pushes out good people and creates resentment amongst those who remain.
    fuck off yuppy scum.

  33. Stupid City Council should never have closed down the other pot dispensaries. Now the remaining few are concentrated super-distribution hubs of drugs (and more $ at each one so they’re greater targets). I’m really sad that anyone in Echo Park would be shot.

  34. “seeing all of these white folk from Ohio or Connecticut driving around in their 2010 Prius’s, thinking they own these streets.”–OK now that is racist. They don’t think they own the streets the pay taxes to perserve them. “yuppie scum” don’t prevent people from enjoying the community–Gang-bangers who do damage to property and threaten personal safety do. Get it straight.

  35. Sue, I’m from Ohio, I drive a Prius and I don’t think I “own these streets.” I think I’m a member of a community where there is crime and there are gangs and also great families and people who deserve to be safe and parks that should be cleaner and stores where employees shouldn’t get shot and killed. Whenever you wanna come down off that pedestal and be a part of the Echo Park community – not all white, not all rich, not all born and bred EPers – we’ll be here trying to make things nicer and better and safer. Not more expensive. Not more “white” (whatever the heck that is.)

  36. Dear Echo Park Community,
    A tradedy occured a friend was MURDERED here in Echo Park. I personally spoke with the Dispensory owner Mr. Stein this morning, he’s on his way to Downtown Det. to give his testamony. According to Mr. Stein it was two male African American males seen running into the Sec.8 building close to Higher Path. As a MMJ Patient/ Advocate and former volunteer for the Higher Path I give my condolences to the family from the Echo Park MMJ Patient Community, to those people who posted with hate in there words please do not be so quick to judge. I read mostly hateful words directed to the Latino community, Let us have Peace. this is only the beginng of summer. We must have peace and harmony in our community. Again a friend was murdered we must try to find justice for our friend. I will try to post funeral arrangements if possible. Most likely closed casket thats how bad he was shot up. R.I.P my friend Mateo who was the victim in this tradedy. I did not know the security guard, but my prayers are with him and his family also.
    Luiza

  37. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Patrol Division

    This incident started out as a robbery, and unfortunately ended up with an employee being wounded, and the security guard being slain. There are two suspects, who either left in a dark-colored Mercedes, or ran from the scene. We received differing accounts, with the vehicle being one, and the suspects running into a nearby apartment complex being the other. Regrettably, it was necessary to initiate the area closure, as a possible murder suspect was contained within an area, and we could not allow citizens to cross into either our path, or the path of the suspects. And we offer a special apology to Ms. Avalos for her missing her brother’s event.

    On the subject of perimeters, if one has a special need (sick child, emergency event, elderly and so on), feel free to ask a perimeter officer to be allowed entry. We judge those requests on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the offense and the proximity of the destination. We will escort folks in and out if it does not compromise anyone’s safety, or a crime scene.

    It is not known for certain if the Hollywood marijuana clinic shooting is related. Our Robbery-Homicide Division is handling both murder investigations.

    Wes
    25214@lapd.lacity.org
    (213) 448-5822

  38. Sue, I couldn’t agree with you more…..and I’m white. I’ve lived in Echo Park for almost 20 years. Violent crime sucks for everyone. It’s not cool, period. So for those of you who can afford it, and obviously you can because you just moved here. Go live somewhere where people don’t tag or use guns on one another. You’ll probably be happier. This is meant out of sincerity and not spite.

    Tom

  39. @Lt. Wes Buhrmester – I just wanted to say thank you for your ongoing informative posts on the Eastsider blog. Its reassuring to have a 2-way line of communication with the law enforcement in our community, rather than just reading quotes from police the paper. Also, kudos for taking advantage of a great tool for getting messages out the community…so many police departments in other communities don’t.

  40. Thank you Lt. Buhrmester for the update. I for one am very appreciative of the police that work in our neighborhood and I appreciate you taking the time to update us residents as information comes out. This is a horrible tragedy and my condolences go out to the friends and family of Matthew.

  41. A person was murdered, not a white or a hispanic. A person. If we all identify with our humanity, we will erase skin color from the equation. This is a problem for our neighborhood, this is not whites against hispanics. We all want to be safe. No one wants a friend or family member killed. Know who you really are. You are a person and we are united in our humanity.

  42. this murder is a tragedy and our prayers and condolences go out to the victims and families. the people at higher path are really cool and whatever scumbags did this will be caught. a curse on their heads and anyone who uses violence.

    on another note – silly string I don’t think you are a real person. why would you admit to being from ohio and driving a prius? have you no respect for yourself?

    this isn’t about race it’s about trying to make everything generic. everything doesn’t have to be commercialized and homogenized, even though as a nation we worship money, not god.

  43. R.I.P., poor little straight white security guard. If it is the same guy that I would see when I bought a newspaper next door. I wonder what the LAPD would have done, if it happened today, since the NY Yankees & the Dodgers play tonight. It would’ve been are real traffic nightmare, since this is a game with the hated Yankees. Glad I was pet sitting in Whittier yesterday. My advise to newbies in EP, grow some eyes behind your head. Stay alert, and be aware of your surroundings, its part of living in the city. It happens everywhere in major cities, and not just EP, and Silverlake. I checked out Jack’s liver link to the OBS myspace page, so I’m not sure why the cops don’t go check out these fools. Just saying.

  44. “I’ve seen the rent go up, bars increase their prices, small mom and pop shops close down being replaced by bullshit ‘vintage’ clothing shops and seeing all of these white folk from Ohio or Connecticut driving around in their 2010 Priuses, thinking they own these streets.”

    I feel you on the rent, especially if people are being forced out, but you’re painting with broad strokes for the rest of this sentence. Mom and pop stores are in decline nationwide, not just here, and for a variety of reasons. And who’s to say whether the vintage clothing store is “bullshit” or whether isn’t “mom and pop”? That might be somebody’s business that they saved up to open, not everyone is a trust-fund baby.

    And really, most people from L.A. are from somewhere else, somewhere down the line, unless you are descended from local Native American tribes. Should we have a test to see how “local” you are before you can be in Echo Park?

    When I last checked a Gold Room special is still a good deal. There’s still no shortage of cheap divey places if that’s what you’re looking for.

  45. This blogging is exhausting. First the Eastsider reported that the perps were ‘latino’. How fucking irresponsible was that. If its not a substancial fact, maybe you shouldnt be putting it in print. This non fact sets off yet another race/class war blog about epark.
    just a note…there are many ‘tagging’ crews around l.a. they arent all thugs and killers. some grow up. some join larger gangs. some get killed.
    I love how the obvious newbies are so in touch with what the ‘gangs’ are thinking and what their master plans are.
    the problems are financial and im on the lower end of that spectrum. race and ‘crime’ is the justification the gentrifiers use to excuse their master plan. To raise rents, push out the long timers and starfuck the storefronts.
    Belvue is not the greatest street in e.p. and s.lake. There are these new renovations and i called to see what the asking rent was.
    A man answered me in a posh Brittish accent like that on the Grey Poupon commercial.
    “Those units are renting for $2700.!!!
    on fucking belvue. hommies up and down the block paying like 600-700 for an apt. One building is still sitting empty now for over one year. no one is going to pay that much. and if they do they are setting the bar so fucking high for the rest of us.
    this is what hommie hates. and this is what i hate.
    Does anyone remember Jay Burgers. I say fuck the Gentrifiers. I hope hommie eats u for breakfast.

  46. Echoparklady says it was Mateo that got killed and The Lt. says it was the security guard who was killed. Who was it? Mateo was the clerk no?

    Everyone there was really nice. They were totally in it to help ailing people out… not one of the clubs just interested in getting your money.

  47. As usuall the LAPD got the people involved names wrong! It was Mateo who was slain. There will be a candel light vigil tonight at 7:30 pm organized by myself with Concerned Citizens Echo Park. It has already been announced on KCAL 9 Hope all of you who loved Matt or are a MMJ Patient can find it in your hearts to have compassion and come out tonight. Hope the Eastsider will cover the vigil.
    Where: 1302 Sunset Blvd Time: 7:30pm
    We must DEMAND THAT THE CITY COUNCIL PUT OUT A REWARD TO CAPTURE THE 2 MALE AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES WHO COMMITTED THIS CRIME.
    Luiza

  48. Gentrification is a natural cycle. Its not part of some evil master plan, its the way neighborhoods have always worked. Its like this:

    1. Start with an stable neighborhood, mid to high rent.
    2. Rents climb higher. Now its only affordable to established families with higher income.
    3. The neighborhood is aging. Most tenants are middle age or elderly. Their children find the neighborhood okay but boring. After high school they won’t be back.
    4. The neighborhood is past its prime, and has fallen into disrepair. Crime has risen. There’s much less demand to live here. Rents plummet.
    5. Lower income families move in to take advantage of the cheap rent. Crime is higher. Safety in the neighborhood is not a priority to police.
    6. Artists realize how cheaply they can live in the neighborhood, move in, and set up studios.
    7. The neighborhood is still inexpensive, but now known for being artsy and hip- and a little dangerous. Some underground night spots and galleries open. The average age in the neighborhood is quite low.
    8. The gay community and some urban fixer-upper pioneers see the potential in the neighborhood’s buildings and start moving in, renovating dilapidated homes. Some boutique retailers open. Rents are rising.
    9. Everyone in the city now considers the neighborhood to be a hot spot. Hipsters move here from other neighborhoods, and people moving from other cities choose this neighborhood as their home. More boutique retail opens. Some of it is very pricey and upscale. Rents are mid to high. Unfortunately, some lower income families are pushed out due to their newly high property taxes. They make a tidy profit selling their homes, and move on to other more affordable neighborhoods. Rents have risen too, but rent control keeps things in check for awhile.
    10. The neighborhood has fully gentrified. Tons of new retail, much of it chains. Lots of strollers around- people are coming to the neighborhood to raise families. Even rents are pretty high now, and some long-time resident renters are forced to move on.
    11. Families grow and age. The neighborhood doesn’t seem quite so hip anymore- hipsters have moved on to the next latest and greatest neighborhood. The neighborhood is stable and mature.

    And the cycle repeats…

    I’m not saying its fair or just…it just is. Its a cycle, not an evil plot.

  49. Dear Community, Just spoke to Julie, Mateo mom, she is devistated. She is available if you wish to speak to her directly she can be reached at 213 200-2861. she gave me her permission to post this.
    Luiza

  50. I love you Chris L

    Thank you for pointing out the natural cycle of gentrification. As a white person living in Echo Park I can tell you that at first it was very difficult for me and we were not embraced by our Latino neighbors. We live in an area heavily tagged by rival gangs (Echo Park and the Crazies, I think) and it’s not exactly a safe place to be. However, we have dogs who needed a yard and the rent was cheap… we are not here to gentrify, and as soon as our neighbors realized that they started treating us like anybody else and not intruders.
    That being said, the hatred spewed by some of the people on this site is indicative of an ongoing problem. Yes, people do come in and gentrify a neighborhood, and yes, they are often white. However, that doesn’t mean that all white people are evildoers trying to take away housing from poor people of color. Many of us are just as poor as you, and assuming what we’re in the neighborhood for based on the color of our skin is racist and, often, wrong.

    It’s not fair for whoever posted this to assume the assailants were Latino, but it is no more fair for you all to wish bad on us evil white people for moving into your neighborhood. Who wants segregated neighborhoods anyway? All that does is allow the poor to be kept poor and not given the resources that come with a mixed neighborhood. So let’s not all shoot ourselves in the foot, okay?

  51. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, Rampart Patrol Division

    The report I read, and the information released to the media by the Department, identified the deceased as Mr. Matthew Butcher, 27.

    Wes
    25214@lapd.lacity.org
    (213) 448-5822

  52. Alejandra Avalos

    I want to thank police officers for their job. I know we missed my brother’s ceremony but it all was for the safety of my family. Also, thanks to all neighbors for being so supportive to one another. I heard that while waiting they all pitch in to get food for everyone and made the waiting a little more harmonious.
    Our most sincere condolences from my and my family to the families of the victims. We hope they find peace and serenity to overcome this hard stage in their life.
    We should be united as a communuty to overlook pass our skin color, and start working on a safer place to live, because we all are humans.

  53. why are all you people blaming local gang members for this crime….my family and i have lived in the area for over 30 years.im not a member of a gang…..tagging on walls is a far cry from robbery/murder

  54. It’s not about race. It’s about harmony, which cannot exist if these criminal elements are allowed to do what they want.

    Whatever color the attackers were, they and all their kind cannot be tolerated in EP or any other part of the city.

    Los Angeles – Rise up and shake these animals out of the tree.

  55. Chris L- Very well written. Totally on point. And the follow up post was right on, as well.

  56. R.I.P. Mateo.. thanks for being a cool friend. So sad it happened like this. You will be missed.

  57. i cant believe hes gone mateo was a genuinely good guy the kind that dont come around to often R.I.P. mateo you will be missed but still live on in our hearts

  58. Rip mateo, went by hp today n they told me about this terrible tradgedy, u were the most kindest humble beautiful soul and I broke down into tears when I heard the news, u did not deserve to die over some fucking pot n I hope they catch the bastard that did it to u n I pray he burns in hell forever! I love u and u will always be in my prayers!

  59. THIS WAS A UNFORGETTABLE DAY I HELD YOU IN MY ARMS JUNIOR (THE SECRETARY GUARD ) I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO DIE IN MY ARMS THE HARDEST PART WAS CALLING UR MOM WHILE I WAS HELPING YOU AND TOLD HER YOU WHERE SHOT IN THE HEAD I’M SO GLAD YOU MADE IT AND I’M SO SORRY I COULDN’T HELP YOU MATEO I WISH I COULD OF I COULDN’T SLEEP FOR WEEKS JUNIOR IF YOU SEE THIS PLEASE CONTACT ME I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HUG YOU KNOW I DIDN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE WHILE PEOPLE JUST WALKED BY AND DIDN’T BOTHER TO HELP YOU AND I PRAYED FOR YOU EVERY SECOND AFTER I LEFT YOU IN THE ARMS OF THE PEOPLE WHO COULD HELP AND I THANK GOD THEY SAVED UR LIFE!!

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