The Echo Park tagger who died leaving his mark

s weekend to raise money for his funeral. Herrera was a skinny, short guy who loved the Dodgers, played video games, attended friends’ band concerts as well as church services. He was an unemployed worker who lived with his family and, despite a mustache, did not look much older than a teenager. He was not a gang member but was part of a tagging crew, said friend J.R., who was collecting money on Sunday afternoon front of the Our Lady of Angeles Cathedral in downtown.

“He was just an average guy,” said J.R., a 26-year-old logistics manager. “He was a very warmhearted person.”

J.R., who is also part of a tagging crew, wore a t-shirt (pictured above) with a collage of images dedicated to Herrera, and held up a sign on orange poster board that read: “My friend was killed by a hit n run!” (I’m checking with CHP about that because it’s not clear from stories if the driver who hit Herrera stopped). Some of Herrera’s tagging crew were also collecting money on Sunday but would not talk about their friend’s death.

Would Herrera’s death make other taggers think twice about risking their lives to leave their mark on a freeway bridge or retaining wall. Not really, said J.R. “Some times all we have are concrete walls.”

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