The Original Tommy’s at Rampart and Beverly where 18-year-old Javier Colleja was gunned down early Sunday morning, is exactly a one-mile bike ride from where I live, but it might as well be 100. If it weren’t for Jill Leovy’s indispensable The Homicide Report blog on latimes.com I’d not know about such senseless tragedies so close (and plenty of those not so close) to home:
The popular hamburger stand was busy. The crowd consisted of young men and women from all over, including some USC students. Colleja was among a group of people standing outside against the wall eating hamburgers, as is customary there. There were some young men and a couple of young women. The attacker, a Latino man or youth dressed in dark clothing, walked up and, without a word, started shooting at the group, then walked away. Colleja was the only person hit. He was taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
When officers arrived at the scene, much of the crowd had melted away. Fleeing diners had left unfinished hamburgers on the counter.
Colleja’s murder comes not two weeks after 14-year-old Diana Tomas succumbed to her wounds four days after being shot in the head less than 2,400 feet from my home.
The first comment to Leovy’s post about the Colleja’s death is from Rev. Howard Dotson and gives details of a candlelight vigil scheduled to take place tomorrow (Dec. 20) at 4 p.m. at Tommy’s.