Parents shot in Inglewood attack devoted to children, relative says
The 28-year-old mother of four stayed in the same neighborhood where she grew up. After she married her high school sweetheart, Filimon Lamas, they moved into the bungalow next door to her childhood home, where her father still lives, family members said Sunday. All but one of her five siblings made their homes on the same block.
Then, early Saturday morning, a horrific scene unfolded at Jimenez's and Lamas' home. Inglewood police said that around 4 a.m., their 55-year-old neighbor Desmond John Moses walked in and opened fire.
Lamas was killed trying to protect three of their children, police said. Despite being shot in the pelvis and both legs, Jimenez hopped a fence and ran from the home cradling their 4-year-old son, who had been shot in the head. The 4-year-old later died.
Jimenez is hospitalized in stable condition, as is their 7-year-old daughter. Their 6-year-old son was shot in the pelvis and is now out of the hospital. Their 8-year-old son was not injured in the attack.
A body was found in the home Moses was renting; police believe Moses set the structure on fire himself. The body has not yet been identified, but authorities said it was that of a man wearing body armor and holding a .38 handgun.
"She felt like she wanted to have something, in case something happened, that she could fall back on," he said.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said, Lamas "poured his heart" into a thriving cafe he had bought a year or two ago.
"He felt this was what was going to make the family successful," he said. "It was his way to provide for the family."
"It's unreal that somebody so, so special could go away like that," he continued.
The couple met at Hawthorne High School and were inseparable ever since, Jimenez said. Eight years ago they married and moved into a cozy home in a quiet Inglewood neighborhood in the largely Latino side of town.
When asked how the family would cope after the death of the breadwinner, Jimenez said "I can't" and started sobbing. "All he breathed was his family," he said after regaining his composure. "All he did, all he talked about was his family."
Neighbor Erica Gomez said the only complaint the loving couple had was that they didn't have enough time to spend with each other.
When the couple had down time they would go to Mexico and visit relatives in Jalisco, where Gloria's parents grew up.
Many of the close-knit bunch lived in the same apartment complex, and they also got together for formal family gatherings. Two weeks ago, about 20 to 30 of them met up at a Mexican restaurant in Carson for dinner and updated each other on life. Gloria picked the spot after raving about the shrimp enchiladas, her brother said.
Recently, Gloria told Jimenez that she just got approved for a home loan.
"She was very excited that they were qualified to buy a home," her brother said. "She was moving on to a new chapter in her life."
Jimenez stopped by her house Thursday to help her search for a new place. She hadn't pinned down an area but mentioned she did not plan to buy her current home, he said. "She felt the property was too small for the family."
Friends and family of the victims spent much of Sunday outside the pediatric intensive care unit at the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA.
They stood in a crowd in the hallway or sat exhausted in a waiting room, and entered the intensive care unit in groups of two or three. At one point, a priest visited and hugged family members. A woman who identified herself as the school principal of one of the injured children said she had come to visit but was in no mood to talk to reporters.
Gloria Jimenez was doing "OK," said a man who identified himself as her father. He then lowered his head. "I just lost my son-in-law and one of my grandchildren."
-- Angel Jennings in Inglewood and Ari Bloomekatz in Westwood
Photo: Filimon Lamas, Gloria Jimenez and their children. Lamas, 33, and their 4-year-old son were fatally shot Saturday in Inglewood. Wounded in the attack were Jimenez, 28; their 7-year-old daughter; and their 6-year-old son. Their 8-year-old son was not wounded. Credit: Stacee Lianna