LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Ismael Ileto watched the mass shootings in America last week and had a different reaction than most.
“I’m tired of the damn thoughts and prayers,” he said Saturday.
As CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Greg Mills explains, Ileto is not coldhearted. He’s anything but.
“I’m tired of hearing sympathies and condolences. Do something,” he says.
Twenty years ago today, Ileto’s brother Joe — a Filipino-American letter carrier — was shot and killed by a white supremacist who moments before had gone on a shooting rampage at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, wounding five people, including three children.
“He was killed because of the color of his skin. The killer perceived him to be a Latino,” Ismael says.
“The gun that killed Joseph Ileto was purchased at a gun show by a man who would not have been allowed to purchase guns having been convicted of armed assault,” says Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks.)
Ileto wasn’t the supremacist’s primary target in the act we would now define as domestic terrorism. Buford Furrow Jr. drove from Washington state to Los Angeles with one purpose in mind:
“To kill America’s Jews,” says Donna Finkelstein.
The killer didn’t succeed in his plan to kill Jewish people, but among the five wounded, Donna’s then 16-year-old daughter.
Donna remembers collapsing that day when she heard Mindy has been shot.
“She has suffered terribly with post traumatic stress,” Donna says.
Twenty years ago, Mindy was a camp counselor at the center. In addition to the three children, Furrow also shot a receptionist.
“He fired 70 rounds in under three minutes. Sound familiar?,” says Finkelstein, “And that was 20 years ago.”
Twenty years later, we saw more than 30 people killed in two mass murders in one weekend, hours apart.
Ileto doesn’t mince words when he looks to blame. He says President’s Trump anti-immigrant speeches and policies are driving a hatred into people’s hearts and minds.
“That’s dividing all of us,” Ileto says, “instead of uniting all of us.”
For her part, Finkelstein wants to see tougher gun laws.
“Universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons,” she says.
Joe Ileto was honored on the 20th anniversary of his death outside the post office where he worked — a tree was planted in his name.
It was a chance for his still-grieving brother to issue a call to action for all Americans.
“Some say it’s too much work to get involved,” Ileto says, “Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder to stand right here and try to,share stories of your loved one.”
Ileto told Mills his brother was supposed to be off work that day but he came in to cover for someone who had called in sick.