ECHO PARK — A gruesome murder in the middle of an intersection is still haunting Echo Park three years later. 30-year-old father Michael David was shot and killed one day before Mother’s Day — May 7, 2011. He was walking on Sunset Boulevard near Echo Park Avenue at about 12:30 a.m. when he was confronted by three alleged gang members who would chase him down. One of the men would fatally shoot David in front of terrified witnesses.
As this Mother’s Day draws near, David’s mom, Jeanne, can’t help but revisit the most painful moment of her life: “I didn’t know it had happened for two days. I was wondering why he wasn’t calling me back … It’s Mother’s Day. That’s how I found out.”
Now three years later, two suspected gang members are scheduled to go to trial for David’s murder: 26-year-old Jeffrey Cardona and 25-year-old Hakop Sardaryan have a court date set for May 15. Assistant District Attorney and prosecutor Herbert Yun says the trial is expected to last two to three weeks. But a third suspect, Peter Michael Lopez, is still on the loose.
What’s particularly disturbing about the case — police still have not revealed a motive for the killings. One source with knowledge of the investigation believes David’s murder was random — that he neither knew nor provoked his attackers. “I raised lovers, not fighters,” says Jeanne, “I raised him to be in touch with his emotions, be mindful and thoughtful…he was street smart.”
David’s loss took a toll on his entire family, especially his 4-year-old daughter: “I never saw a child mourn before. That was the most crippling. She was 4. She never went home again. It was very difficult for her. It was difficult for all of us.”
And what’s also difficult for the entire community to comes to term with is that what happened to David, who worked at the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, could have potentially happened to anyone. But, his mother says she’s optimistic that those involved will be brought to justice:
I really give this one to the universe..this really wasn’t about the killers. I figured the killers would be taken care of…I forgave immediately. The main thing form me is this child of mine was terrorized and brutally murdered and that wasn’t anything that should have happened to him.”
- Woman spends Mother’s Day searching for answers in murder of her son.
- Police release witness accounts of Echo Park shooting.
- Police seek help in finding Echo Park murder suspect.
Terese Jordan is a writer, producer, and violinist living in Echo Park. She has produced broadcast news and documentary television for CNN, NBC, and Discovery.