Leonard was leaving Shyrea's Liquor at the intersection of West Century Boulevard and Hobart Boulevard about 8 p.m. when he was approached by an unidentified black man, police said. The man shot him several times, then got into a red pickup truck and drove away north on Hobart Boulevard, police said.
Leonard managed to run but collapsed at a nearby McDonalds restaurant. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
This afternoon friends and neighbors of Leonard gathered at memorial set up at the site of his shooting. Surrounded by caution tape, the display included 22 votive candles, more than 10 bouquets, two pictures, and a handful of stuffed animals.
Albert Tyson, 45, said he lived across the street from Leonard and had known him since he was 14 or 15 years old.
"He was a good kid," Tyson said. "He didn't get into any trouble. He didn't use drugs."
Tashika Brackens, 32, lived down the street from Leonard. She said her husband was friends with him, and he would frequently drop by her home to say hello to her two young daughters or ask what they were making for dinner.
"He would talk to anybody. He was real friendly," she said. "I had seen him that morning.... I think someone was just jealous he had a good job and a good car."
She said Leonard worked at LAX in the baggage claim department but wanted to get a job with her as a bus driver and, eventually, to go back to school.
"It's always the good kids, that's the sad part about it," she said. "I just don't understand, just don't understand. He was like a little brother to me."
Though there were several visitors to Leonard's memorial, people did not linger.
"People get shot up at memorials now," Tyson said. "I don't want to stay too long."
Anyone with information about this killing is asked to call LAPD 77th Division Dets. F. Weber or Y. Mun at 323-485-1383.
-- Anthony Pesce in Gramercy Park
Photo: A street memorial for Samuel Leonard, a 22-year-old black man. Leonard was shot while getting into his car at the intersection of West Century Boulevard and Hobart Boulevard in Gramercy Park. Credit: Anthony Pesce / Los Angeles Times