Son of union leader slain in Echo Park pot clinic shooting

The 27-year-old man who was killed during the Thursday afternoon shooting at an Echo Park medical marijuana dispensary was the son of Los Angeles union leader Julie Butcher,  according to a posting on her Facebook page.  Butcher, who lives in Highland Park,  is a regional director with the service employees union SEIU 721.   Matthew Butcher, who worked at the dispensary,  died at the scene and another employee was injured during an attempted robbery at The Higher Path clinic.   Flowers and a candle (pictured) were placed by the boarded up front door to the building . The posting on the union leader’s Facebook page reads:

“Matt Butcher was shot & killed yesterday, when armed robbers broke into the Echo Park medical marijuana shop in which he was working. Matt was a kind, decent, quiet young man, who was extraordinarily loved by his parents Don & Julie Butcher … & his younger brother Steven. All abhor the senseless violence. RIP.”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Butcher said of her son: “He would have given them anything they wanted. There’s no reason for anyone to die over marijuana.”

Related post:
Slayings at two medical marijuana dispensaries appear unrelated. LA Now


  1. This is essentially a 1up mushroom for those who want to continue prohibition, as the public is likely to latch onto the upcoming arguments they’ll make about marijuana raising crime rates. You needn’t be a genius to see the argument coming a mile away.

    As a nonsmoker I see or hear about senseless acts of violence, such as this, and it makes the case to end prohibition so air tight, in my mind. If drugs were legal and addiction treated as a disease it would result in lowered crime and lower usage…you know, like Portugal.

  2. Very sad. Condolences to Matt’s family.

  3. A candellight vigil will be held tonite at 7:30 pm to honor Mateo who was Murdered doing his job. 1302 Sunset Blvd, The Higher Path Dispensory. across the street from INEZ st. on Sunset blvd. He was a friend to me and to many in our local Echo Park community. These senseless killings must stop. SO calling out to the Echo Park MMJ Patient Community or anyone else who believes in Justice, to come out tonite The Vigil has already been announced during the 2o’clock news today. I demand Justice for my friend Matts Murder.
    Thank You. Luiza Padilla M.

  4. this is simply awful. these medicinal marijuana dispensaries are supposed to be safe, calm, nurturing and compassionate establishments detering street sales and the violence that comes with it. I am sure they have security cameras all over the pot shop and will hopefully have these cold blooded killers behind bars soon!

  5. The survalence tapes are missing according to reports on KCAL 9 at 2 o’clock news

  6. I’m sure some racists will try to blame it on the white hipsters and gentrification.

  7. No whitman to your dismay word on the streets has it that they were 2 black males armed who fled the scene. This a fucked up situation that’s all I know.

  8. My condolences go to Matt’s mother Julie. I am very sorry for her loss.

  9. so i take the suspects got away? why aren’t there updates on these two recent shootings? why are the police so inadequate in finding these people? in this day and age with cell phones and the never ending helicopters overhead there should be some resolution here. it sounds like both cases they have absolutely nothing but descriptions. sad and scary.

    i’ve lived in this neighborhood for 8 years now and still don’t see a drastic reduction in crime. it is just hidden it a bit more now. it barely gets covered on the news.

  10. I agree it is a tragedy and you’re right about crime in the area just being swept under the carpet and not broadcasted on the news often.

  11. We need an entirely new police department. Send them all packing and adopt Maywoods force…I’m moving back to Medellin where the hills are safer these days!

  12. Matt, you will be missed. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I genuinely hope the Butcher family and all your friends can find comfort in the time they spent with you. It does not feel real, but there is strength to be found.

    RIP, Matt.

  13. This was my son who was killed. The police are doing the best they can with what they got for now. I blame people who saw something and won’t come forward. My son was kind, gentle, loving. He would go out of his way for anyone. He did what he was doing because he believed that it helped people with cancer and other extreme painful situations. He didn’t drink and did not use any other kind of drugs. I’m a liver transplant patient since 2001. Every day of my life from that time to now I suffer from great pain. My present liver is failing. I use pot to get me to sleep. It relieves the pain for a period of time. My son is an innocent victim of pure scum. These people have no heart or morals. I beg the public to keep his memory alive and continue the fight to bring these low life’s to justice. I applaud the LAPD for it’s efforts. I know they are working around the clock to find these scumbags. Do not stick your heads in the ground and expect it to go away. This could happen to you or one of yours. I ask if anyone who saw anything to come forward and report it to the Rampart Division police department. You don’t have to tell the police your name if you are scared. They just need leads. Honor my son and all those other people that have been killed by this senseless violence. With Love for our city and the people who live here. Keep the faith.

  14. I am very saddened by this. I know people who are helped by medical marijuana, and to have something like this happen is just a tragedy. Will one of my friends be next? It is a frightening though. Legalization is the answer.

  15. Daniel Davis (BDwinsAlt)

    The subspace continuum community has extended their condolences to Matt’s family. http://forums.ssgn.net/index.php?showtopic=24800&pid=266389&st=0&#entry266389

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