Curbside Candles & Flowers For Julio Lizano

News of the gang-related murder that happened last Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park was relegated to bullet points on the occasional blog and a few cursory paragraphs on TV news websites and in newspapers.

Crossing Alvarado on my way home from Thursday night’s bike ride I looked around for any telltale signs of the crime scene’s aftermath and I found this shrine to the victim in front of American Apparel store, near the spot where he fell from multiple gunshot wounds:

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/10/shrine-thumb.jpg

As evidence of how easy it is to distance yourself from such tragedy I point to how I was initially much more bothered by the press incorrectly locating the fatal shooting in Silver Lake than I was by yet another senseless death, but it was all brought home when I rolled up on this makeshift memorial — and even more so when I found this comment to the news brief that appeared Monday on dailynews.com, reminding me of the grief born among the loved ones the dead leave behind:

Hello, I’m posting a comment about the article regarding Julio Lizano’s fatal death! I’m his cousin and we’re just going through a very hard time. Our families, friends and those who stand by our sides are devastated because of this unsuspected incident that occured. Therefore I just wanted to rephase an article that was posted on the internet regarding my cousin being jumped out of a gang and so on! Yes my cousin was gang related, but was turning his life around when this unfortunately incident happened. He was born and raised here. Not far from where he was killed. He was a respectful and loving young man. He was very loved but will not be forgotten. He lives and stays in our hearts, minds and prayers.
We love Julio. You’ll always be remembered because you’re gone but not forgotten. – Yesenia Becerra

More details here at Jill Leovy’s Homicide Blog at latimes.com.