A young father and his 4-year-old son were shot to death last weekend in their Inglewood home. Early Saturday morning, about 4 a.m., a masked gunman broke in and started firing at the family of Filimon Lamas, 33, and Gloria Jimenez, 28.
Lamas did not survive. Neither did Giovani, the youngest of four children, who was shot in the head. Jimenez was shot in both her legs and her pelvis. The couple's 6-year-old son was shot in the pelvis. Their 7-year-old daughter was shot in the chest.
A family was ripped apart. So was the heart of Chips '50s Cafe, the Hawthorne diner owned by Lamas, his brother and a brother-in-law.
Lamas was there almost every day, all day. Customers and staff say he rarely stopped smiling.
In my latest City Beat, I visit the diner. Read the full story
Here's what I sent out on Twitter from the scene:
View the story "A man shot to death, a diner in mourning" on Storify] A man shot to death, a diner in mourning Filimon Lamas, 33, was one of the owners of Chips diner on Hawthorne Boulevard. He was shot in his Inglewood home, trying to protect his wife and children from a gunman.
Storified by LA Times City Beat · Wed, Oct 24 2012 14:49:33
For my next City Beat, a place of thick waffles and mourning -- the Hawthorne diner where Filimon Lamas spent his days.LA Times City Beat
Lamas, 33, was one of the owners of Chips diner on Hawthorne Blvd: http://pic.twitter.com/1OFuxZ9nLA Times City Beat
Now his name and photo are news. He was shot to death Saturday in his Inglewood home: http://pic.twitter.com/eq40vu4HLA Times City Beat
His wife and 3 of his 4 children were shot. Gio, 4, did not survive: http://pic.twitter.com/A8tSrmzwLA Times City Beat
You have been to this diner -- or one much like it -- with its miniature cereal boxes http://pic.twitter.com/6yLCTVuhLA Times City Beat
And its retro gas pump http://pic.twitter.com/1XsPkAT3LA Times City Beat
filled with gumballs: http://pic.twitter.com/WhIaGdoKLA Times City Beat
Chips diner has lamps that look like flowers: http://pic.twitter.com/ZqZccxzLLA Times City Beat
And old-fashioned milkshake machines: http://pic.twitter.com/FyKoJ8WfLA Times City Beat
Now it also has bouquets of red roses -- and customers, waiters and waitresses in tears: http://pic.twitter.com/va2jX3tTLA Times City Beat
Lamas made everyone who walked in feel like a long-lost friend. He called little girls "princess": http://pic.twitter.com/juCg4fRnLA Times City Beat
He called little boys "champion," or "campeon" in Spanish.LA Times City Beat
Marco Orozco lost his job and lives in his van. He goes to Chips every day. Fili let him run a tab: http://pic.twitter.com/paq8Cr8YLA Times City Beat
He was full of joy, always smiling, his employees tell everyone who asks. They never saw him angry: http://pic.twitter.com/lKjh3kMGLA Times City Beat
On Tuesday, Hawthorne police came to the diner to launch a fund for the family. Call 310-973-6279. http://pic.twitter.com/NzAjigx3LA Times City Beat
Say you're calling in reference to the Jimenez/Lamas Donation Fund/Account #4122412588.LA Times City Beat
Chips diner was Lamas' hope for the future. He wanted to buy a house. He wanted a better life for his family.LA Times City Beat
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-- Nita Lelyveld
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