The Times chronicles L.A. County
Gerson Rodriguez was shot to death in the parking lot of a Burger King in the 1000 block of North Western Avenue in East Hollywood about 1 a.m. Sunday, July 12. It was his 33rd birthday, and his family had planned a small celebration for him later that day.
Rodriguez, a Latino, was born in Guatemala, and when he was a child he moved to the United States with his brother, sister and mother.
His father had died and his mother — who had previously lived in the U.S. — hoped to start a new life in California, said Evelyn Medina, 38, Rodriguez’ sister.
Rodriguez was raised by his mother and sister in their home in Sylmar. He attended Kennedy High School but left before graduating. He later earned a GED.
Medina said her brother then did odd jobs and took classes off and on at Mission College until enlisting in the Navy in his late twenties.
“He was having trouble finding himself, so he tried a bunch of things,” Media said. “He didn’t know what to do, so he joined the Navy."
Since his childhood Rodriguez had dreamed of joining the military. In Guatemala, Medina said, it is common for children to dream about becoming U.S. Marines, but she and her mother never imagined he would enlist. In fact, he kept his decision to join the Navy a secret from his family.
“We only found out about it on the day he left,” Medina said. “If [his mother and I] knew we would have protested day and night.… Then I changed my mind. He became more like an adult rather than the child we used to pamper a lot.”
Craig Wright, a 50-year-old black man, was stabbed several times and died July 1 in the 1700 block of Vista Del Mar Avenue in Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
Wright was in line at a food distribution center for the homeless when he got into an argument with Rodrigo Sosa, a 43-year old Latino, coroner's officials said. Sosa allegedly stabbed Wright several times about 9 a.m., officials said.
Wright was taken to the hospital after the attack, where he died about 10:15 a.m., said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner's office.
Sosa was arrested by LAPD officers from the Hollywood Division at 9:15 p.m. the same day, according to sheriff's jail records. He is being held in lieu of $1,020,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court July 16. Records also indicate that federal immigration officials have placed a hold on Sosa.
Gerson Rodriguez, a 33-year-old Latino, was shot in the face and left hand and died on July 12 in the 1000 block of North Western Avenue in Hollywood, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Rodriguez was in a parking lot when three people went up to him and shot him. Police believe the killing is gang-related.
Police described all three of the male suspects as Latinos with shaved heads; they were wearing white T-shirts.
Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD Hollywood Division homicide detectives at 213-972-2915.