Man shot to death on Echo Park stairway*

A 35-year-old man was shot to death on an Echo Park stairway this morning in what police suspect may have been a gang-related shooting.  Police have detained one person following the shooting that took place at about 11:15 a.m. on a public stairway near Bellevue and Belmont avenues, said Lt. Wes Buhrmester with the Rampart Division. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot multiple times in the upper body. Several suspects were involved in the incident.

Residents reported hearing at least six shots at about 11 a.m.. The victim’s body was halfway up the  stairway that runs from Glendale Boulevard up to Belmont Avenue. One resident said that a woman was “hysterical in the street”  as neighbors congregated outside following the gunfire.

A woman who was at home said she heard the shots. There was also gunfire in the same area about two weeks ago, she said. “It’s very dangerous here,” she said.

* Update on July 2: Two suspects h ave been arrested.  The Eastsider


  1. Was this gang on gang violence?

  2. Enough already!
    Y’all seriously need some anti-gang vigilantes up in there!

  3. sad, sad, sad.

  4. Before any one mentions it. No, closing the stairs won’t solve the problem.

  5. Sounds like good for nothing gangs up to no good as usual.

  6. Wow, talk about a stairway to heaven …

    • Damn James, this is a very serious issue…..the shooting is very tragic since another human is dead. I can’t believe a group of humans would do this. But damn, you made my arse laugh.

  7. Isnt that a freeway overpass?

    • Yeah to the south is the freeway overpass but to the east is the stairway connecting/separating Bellevue (at Glendale). The spot where the cops taped off is at Belmont & Bellevue (a block from my house, yikes!)

  8. This aggression will not stand …man !

  9. Man thats nonsense, wheres the elite Rampart Gang Unit when we need u….

  10. (f)art district

    Oh snap…a 35 year old guy? That’s some OG LA $h*t…talking late 90’s when EP was a much worse place. I thought these idiots would have grown out of this by now, but I bet this guy has at least 5 or 6 llittle devil spawn waiting to avenge his death. It’s going to take many generation before they all kill each other or this macho gang BS finally burns out.

  11. Aren’t you all happy the old Echo Park is back? Sabor man……

  12. Orrale Homie.. you skinny hueros moved into my block homie.. Que no.. haha now you wana beef wit the Ese’s nah you dont want that.. ya estuvo..

    • Sunny, I love your dialect; what are its origins? Where did you study it? Are you a grad student in linguistics, or did you pick it up from a book? Your dialect seems to share an internal grammar with that spoken by Richard Anthony (“Cheech”) Marin; did you consult with him while you were learning it? I especially love how you chose to repurpose the word “beef” as a verb, and how you took the noun “wit” and turned it into a conjunction. Very “witty” indeed. Best of luck in grad school; I look forward to reading your dissertation.

    • haters can keep on hatin’ sunny. that’s what this world is made of… don’t let a wanna-be hipster like James and his big words like “dialect” or “internal grammar” bring your spirit down… hueros will be hueros, and haters will be haters… fly like a bird, sunny! fly, fly away! caw-caw!

    • sunny, echo park is a diverse community. tenemos gente from all over the world so ay k no atackar al huero por ser huero.. tenemos raza hating on the raza y esto k akaba de pasar es una tragedia mas entre nuestra comunidad. We need to learn how to take action the smart way, armando mas pedo por pendejadas no es la solucion y menos cuando son escritas online.

  13. sad.

    and just the evening before, a bunch of local politicians running for various offices converged with a bunch of news cameras on el centro del pueblo, supposedly to decry stabbings that happened about a month ago on echo park ave:


    wonder where those politicians were this morning. after they introduced themselves at the town hall meeting yesterday evening, they stood off to the side and laughed and chatted so loudly you could barely hear the discussion by rampart lapd and the people who had shown up to attend the meeting.

    and by the way, la times, eric garcetti hardly co-hosted the town hall-style meeting. he was not present. he did, however, send a very nattily dressed latino staffer. no offense to the staffer, but your reporting is inaccurate: garcetti, mayoral candidate, was nowhere physically present. and his attache did nothing to contribute to the discussion of a supposed hate crime except try to get the attendees, waiting in the blazing afternoon sun for the meat of the meeting to start, and the parade of politicians to end, to respond enthusiastically. to what? i guess to garcetti’s candicacy.


    • If we want to change this cycle of violence we need to examine the lives of those who are caught up in it, and that often includes judging. “We as a society” are not failing our youth; their parents are. When it comes to gangs, it’s extremely difficult for a teacher, community worker, or anyone else to counter the influence of a young man’s friends. With a lot of the gangs in Echo Park and Northeast L.A., there’s a cultural influence as well, and that cultural influence is impossible to change for outsiders. These gangs are generational, and just as many people come from military families, or families where everyone is a doctor, there are kids whose parents and uncles were involved in gangs.

      Change has to come from within the communities and the gangs themselves, and unfortunately that’s not likely to happen as long as there are lifers in Pelican Bay and Corcoran who have nothing to lose and who are pulling the strings on the kids in our communities.

      • “When it comes to gangs, it’s extremely difficult for a teacher, community worker, or anyone else to counter the influence of a young man’s friends.”

        James have you worked with youth before? Its very difficult, you’re right, but its not impossible.

      • james im just guessing but i take it your not a parent. It’s very easy to blame the parent but it takes a whole society and environment to make up a person. Just because there is a doctor or a soldier in a family does not mean they are the “all american family” with no gang affiliation, for all you know that doctor or that soldier could of been a former gangster or have a sibling who was one or even a parent.. what im saying is that stereo typing is one of the reasons our society is failing. Instead of sitting back typng up more shit about people you dont even know how about you hit the streets and local youth hang outs and get involved with them so you can one day be proud to say you helped improve the lives of some of the youths in your community…. or atleast you tried.

        • 14 years as an inner-city teacher have perhaps left me a bit jaded, but please don’t accuse me of not doing my part. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had gang-affiliated kids tell me the equivalent of “You don’t know how it is,” because I’m a (more or less) white middle-class teacher. You are right that I’m not a parent, but I have worked in Latino communities since 1996, and I know that my ability to pull a teenaged boy out of the gang life is – it’s not gonna happen.

        • Thanks for calling a spade a spade, James. And Paloma, it STARTS with the family unit. And while there are exceptions to every rule, it is more likely than not (get that part? ’cause it’s important) that a broken home or a careless parent will continue to produce these draining members to our society.


        • What’s the title of the book that you recommend, Mayo? I’m on summer break, so I’d love to hear your recommendation.

        • I think you all missed James point. And btw, he is the only guy commenting here that works with these kids and can give you a broader idea of whats going on in their heads. Give the guy some credit for his work experience.
          I can’t believe how dumb most of you commenters are. It’s fascinating to watch you people stumble over simple concepts and the most obvious of points. Its like you half read the comment, get fired up on what you thought you read then leave some half-baked response that leads the replies down a road of nothingness. I know the majority of Echo Park isn’t all that educated but come on my people, you can muscle your way through some coherent thoughts if you just stay patient with your emotions and don’t let your angry little fingers get the best of you.
          James, thank you for what you do.

          • Thank you for the kind words. I should say that the vast majority of my students are not gang-affiliated; it seems to me that many kids (at least in Pico-Union and Echo Park) understand that gang involvement is a dead end. I used to have lots more students involved with gangs when I started teaching high school in 2004. I don’t know if fewer kids are joining gangs or if they’re attending other schools in the area.

    • thank you MAYO for putting some sense into some of these disturbing comments.. and that “hysterical woman” was probably his children’s mother. My condolences go out to his family, especially his children who are now left fatherless due to violence which is everywhere not just in echo park.

  15. I’m sorry to hear that a person got shot over petty gang turf. But then I think about it and ask myself why would you want to be a gang member at age 35.they’ve always said teens joined gang for a sense of belonging.what’s a 35 year olds excuse?I’m sick of these fake this is my”hood” crap.get a job raise your families the right way have pride in your community.

  16. James your typing and lame humor sounds just as dumb as sunny. Just saying its actually serious topic. A person just lost his life and your trivializing an uneducated persons grammer shame on you.

    • I’m sorry if you felt that my response was too humorous for the occasion; perhaps it was. Sunny’s pro-gang comments (I’ve read other comments he has written that are similar in tone) annoy me, and this time I decided to use humor to call him on his idiotic post. Rest assured, though, I would never make any kind of jokes on a story about an innocent person’s death.

      • (f)art district

        Maybe I misread the article but I thought his murder was gang related. Although that is vague at beast, I don’t typically feel sorry for people that are involved in gang activity and get hurt or killed. These idiots have created a fake street war that simply doesn’t exist outside their own heads. We don’t need to kill each other to survive in this country (although I am sure some reader will challenge me on this statement based on some rediculous assertion).

  17. All we know from this post is that “the police say it may have been gang-related.” I would think that the fact that a person was shot to death is all that is needed to point to the possibility of gang involvement.

    I walk on these stairs almost everyday, and I want to know who this 35-year old person was. Lt. Wes Buhrmester, please update this story with more details when you can. Or if anyone else can add some facts, please?

  18. I blame society [sic]
    We tolerate the gangs and enable them there are very good laws to eradicate the gangs once and for all we don’t have to live in fear in our own city it was not always like this.

    • i don’t know about enabling them. tolerate? yes to some degree; but there is much less gang violence than there was, so things are getting better overall. as much as the idea of unchecked violence bothers me (and the glamorization of it), the idea of unchecked civil rights violations is worse. I keep seeing people here mourning the loss of the old Rampart CRASH unit, but that was nothing but criminal activity. and it wasn’t even effective; gang crime was at an all time high then. the CRASH unit spent all of it’s time barking up the wrong tree and infringing on innocent people’s rights.

      • I guess innocent people need to figure out how much inconvenience they are willing to tolerate in order to obliterate gangs. Personally, I don’t mind if the police “infringe” on some of my rights (unwarranted search for concealed weapons for example) as long as it is for a limited period of time and serves a greater good for the community – although, I suspect I am part of a very small minority on this subject – the majority want everything and want to give up nothing.

        • May I suggest random weapons checkpoints in known gang areas instead of the usual DUI checks!
          I’m sure the LAPD would find plenty of illegal weapons and also get uninsured motorists off the road too, win win!!!!

        • if a cop wants to search my car because they want to make sure I don’t have a fugitive in my trunk, that’s fine. when I talk about civil rights violations carried out by CRASH, I’m talking about things like perjury, planting drugs and weapons on innocent people (that CRASH believed were probably guilty of something), dropping suspected gang members off in rival gang territory,… They cost the city a ton of money in lawsuits and made the outcomes of many trials come under suspicion. it was very shameful for Los Angeles and I would hate to see that happen again. most of the kids in EP are great kids (just like mine). would hate to see them get hassled because they have short hair and brown skin.

          • (f)art district

            Michael, does your child have a shaved head or just short hair? Also, does he dress like a homie or just a regular fashionable young adult? I ask because as humans, we have evolved to identify and avoid danger. If someone looks dangerous (gang fashion), we label them as a potential danger and try to avoid them. If the police see a person like that, they most likely assume the worst. I guess it falls under – better safe than sorry.

            Why do so many Latino men dress so similar to gang members? I would never shave my head, wear combat boots and a white tank top in fear that someone would identify me as a white supremicist…I guess I don’t want to be associated with someone so negative and possibly be discriminated against for fashion that represents something so negative in society.

          • @(f)art district – you wrote “I would never shave my head, wear combat boots and a white tank top in fear that … ”

            You just described Sinead O’Connor. Don’t be too fast to judge based on appearances.

          • @ (f)art district: I’m half latino, so that makes my kids only 1/4 latino; not worried about them getting mistaken for gang members (they look like white kids with a tan). I am talking about how most of the kids in EP are good kids (like mine), and that when drastic measures are put into place to combat crime, a lot of people end up in the crosshairs. kids get stopped merely for being brown (they don’t even have to shave their head). then there’s the fact that all gang members don’t have shaved heads. there are lot of them in EP that have hair and don’t look like what people expect gang members to look like. they look like middle age dads.

            as for someone’s personal tastes in fashion, there will always be someone who doesn’t approve. people disparage “hipster” fashion, people who look like “hipsters” hate being called “hipsters,” people who look like gang members hate being called gang members,… it’s easy to judge someone on their appearance if they don’t look like you. there’s no reason why people can’t look however they want. your advice to change their clothes sounds like a recipe for a real bland society (and also a little “get off my lawn”). ultimately in this case it doesn’t matter, the local police are well aware of who the active gang members are. but they have rights too, so you can’t just arrest them unless you actually see them doing something.

          • (f)art district

            Michael, I think it would be great if we could all be who we want to be without being judge, but that is not realistic. If I dress like a hipster, people are going to think I’m a hipster whether I am or not. If I dress like a white supremicist (or Sinead O’Connor), people will probably judge me as well. Since we live in an imperfect world and can’t change anyone but ourself, if we are getting judged based on personal appearance, we either need to accept it as a reality of life or change our persoanl appearance. I choose to live in a neighborhood with mostly Latinos and I have been the target of racism as a result, but it was my decision to move into the neighborhood and although I would like to see racism end, I know that will not happen in my lifetime. I just hope for the best while accepting the reality that we do not live in an imperfect world. And FYI, I believe that 99% of the kids in these neighborhoods are good…it’s really too bad that the bottom 1% ruin it for everyone else.

  19. Is violence on the rise in NELA ? If there is , does anyone know if there is a correlation with early jail releases ? Also , after school programs have been in a majority of at risk neighborhoods and schools in LA for the last 6-10 years . I know because I worked for them for the last 6 years. Some of the goals are to increase API scores , graduation rates , reduce drop out rates , increase college going culture , and provide a safe place after school . Research shows youth display deviant behavior mostly during after school hours 3-7pm. It would be interesting to see if these after school programs have had an impact on joining gangs , sometimes I wonder ? At what point are parents held responsible for their child’s behavior before , during , and after school ?

  20. The loss of life is tragic regardless of the circumstance or context. This person, a human being, has a mother, perhaps children, siblings… the reach of this unfortunate incident will extend much further then this message board. I respect all peoples points of view and simply stated can imagine how people who have grown up in this environment and those transplanted to it make sense of the violence. Lets not kid ourselves, guns and gangs are real, humor is one remedy to quash the tension.

    The back and forth on here makes for a speculative visual, people behind keyboards typing their opinions instead of walking around the block and saying “hi” and dialoguing with their neighbors. We need much more of that instead of name calling, condescension, and narrow perspectives.

    I did see this crime seen and saw what appeared to be a sheet on a figure. It was very sad, and unfortunately not the first time I’ve seen this. Regardless I/we can not lose sight of humility when our personal boundaries are threatened.

    We should ask better questions instead of pointing fingers. Think for a second why in Los Angeles there are so many homicides related to gangs. Tally the number of deaths all the way back to the 20’s and realize the body count may out number or equal the casualties of US soldiers in other countries. Why haven’t gangs been identified as crisis in the US, especially here in Los Angeles? Why hasn’t there been a more fortified effort to study the roots of this epidemic and see where we can place emphasis to curb the cycles of violence?

    Well, in my opinion, that would lead to a horrible truth. A truth that colludes law enforcement and government as main components to the crisis at hand. It’s been easier to turn ones back and demonize this group of people. There has been an abuse of power and people have been reduced to suspect with out any process. So yes, gangs have evolved and learned how to defend them selves, and unfortunately how to fight one another. Police carry guns, so do gangsters. Where do you think gangsters learned how to act in the way they do? Shoot first ask questions later. If you want to point fingers, look at the leadership in our society.

    Addressing some of the comments up top, I grew up pelon and chingon speaking like an ese, a vato who did not know any better. Lucky to also have made the opportunity for myself to hang at grad school with you hueros or gueros if you want to be picky.

    Stay strong LA-

  21. On the evening of Friday, June 29, officers made two arrests regarding this shooting. Detectives developed suspect information and passed it on to uniformed officers. Armando Rosales, 19, Los Angeles, was arrested in the field following a traffic stop. About an hour later, a 14-year-old male, also of Los Angeles, turned himself in at Rampart Station. Rosales was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center, while the juvenile was booked at Eastlake Juvenile Hall, both for murder with a firearm.

    The suspects are believed to have gang affiliations, however the motive was not necessarily due to that. Information tends to indicate the shooting arose from a personal dispute, not related to gang activity. The victim and suspects were previously acquainted, and this was not a random act.

    (213) 484-3400

  22. identity of the victim?

  23. Wow,everyone that elaborated all got your stories wrong.I mean all this gang thing was a personal dispute.Either your a part of Echo Park community or your not,if you feel like the cholo life style is to much for you,why do you live in Echo Park…This area has been like this back when they had pachucos’up Palo Verde,Bishop and La Loma,also known today as Chavez Ravine…How are you going to expect a differentt culture to change their style of dress? Oh maybe make us wear tight pants and grow long hair to appease our friend with racial profiling issues.To bad my ride is still going to be sitting on 20s’ and you can’t remove or change someones style…Some might go for it,but soldiers like Geranimo aren’t going out like that.

    • Cause you live in echo park doesn’t mean your a CHOLO I was born and raised in EP never joined a gang come on people you do what you want not whay people make you do!

  24. He was a great guy, he is now resting in peace we will miss you ,great friend! Was always there when someone needed to talk to! Does anyone know if they know his name! Out of curiosity!?!

  25. I think his name was Ivan (R.I.P.) wasnt gang related

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