Inglewood shooting suspect 'not all there,' victims' relative says
Candles burned Sunday outside the home of an Inglewood family where a father and his 4-year-old son were shot to death Saturday. His wife and two of their other children were wounded. Nearby, toys were scattered around the front lawn.
The cool fall breeze carried the burnt scent of the nearby bungalow where authorities said the alleged shooter, Desmond John Moses, 55, lived and then died after apparently setting it on fire. As details unfolded of the shooting that left two dead and three others hospitalized, loved ones told the story of a close-knit family that struggled to live next door to a cantankerous neighbor.
Jaime Jimenez of Lawndale, a younger brother of the wife, said that the shooting was "an unfortunate tragedy" that shouldn't have happened.
Inglewood police believe Moses opened fire on the family of six about 4 a.m. Saturday. The parents — identified as Filimon Lamas, 33, and his wife, Gloria Jimenez, 28 — tried to protect their children, authorities said. Lamas was found slumped over three of the children; Jimenez, despite being shot in both legs and her pelvis, jumped a fence and ran from the home cradling her 4-year-old son.
A 6-year-old boy shot in the pelvis was released from the hospital and was resting with family members, one relative said. An 8-year-old boy was not hurt in the attack.
Neighbor Erica Gomez, 38, recalled how Jimenez would come out and watch her
son play soccer.
"She was very delicate to her kids," Gomez said in Spanish, wiping away tears as her young son translated. "She was a great mom who dedicated a lot of time to them."
Gomez said she and Jimenez bonded after learning they were both from Jalisco, a state in Mexico. They would chat in the park during their kids' soccer game. Gomez said that the mother never mentioned any issues with her neighbor.
However, Jaime Jimenez recalled that the reclusive man who lived in a house behind his sister's often grunted when their family greeted him and would complain about the young kids playing in the backyard.
"The old guy back there just was a lone wolf," said Jimenez, who once lived in the housing complex with family. "He didn't really speak much. Again, he seemed like he kind of minded his own business."
He said the family called the authorities a couple of times because of Moses' secretive nature. Jimenez feared the neighbor was "not all there."
"We are a big family," he said. "We always have gatherings."
A body was found Saturday night in the charred rubble of Moses' home, which police believe he set on fire about the same time as the shooting. Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Sunday morning that the body had not yet been identified and an autopsy probably would not be performed until Monday.
Jimenez was on his way to the hospital but stopped by the house first. He recalled Lamas as a doting dad who loved his family.
"He's an angel," said an emotional Jimenez. "He was everything that family could have."
-- Angel Jennings in Inglewood
Photo: Candles and flowers sit in front of the shooting victims' home, right, as relatives living next door are escorted by police Sunday morning. Credit: Christina House / For The Times