LYNWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of friends, family and customers of a 67-year-old shopkeeper gunned down last month gathered in Lynwood this evening to mourn his loss.
Victim Luis Valadez, a husband, father and grandfather, owned Las Palomas Meat Market in the 12000 block of Long Beach Boulevard.
Tonight, those that loved him most gathered with candles in his memory. Tears flowed freely.
The man’s son, David Valadez, spoke to CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Suraya Fadel. “They took part of my heart. My family is in a lot of pain. They destroyed my family.”
Valadez was shot and killed — just days before Thanksgiving — while he was closing up his shop. “The store was his life,” says his son, “The store was his second home.”
Valadez was robbed by gunpoint by two men and a female accomplice. Police are still looking for the trio.
Customers remembered his generosity and kindness.
“Sometimes maybe if you came and didn’t have enough to buy a loaf of bread,” said one woman, “or tortillas or just a lemon, he would say ‘Just take it. You can always come back and pay for it.’”
And this customer wants his killers brought to justice. “As long as these people are out there, it brings fear.”
Said another customer devastated by Valadez’ loss, “He would welcome you to the store all the time … with open arms.”