About 50 people gathered in front of Eagle Rock High School last night to remember 27-year-old Matthew Butcher, who was fatally shot last Thursday in a robbery at a marijuana dispensary in Echo Park.

Butcher's death is one of a series of recent deadly marijuana dispensary crimes

Loved ones, holding small candles, huddled closely together and shared their stories of a young man described by many as kind, quiet and introspective.

Credit: Steve La

Credit: Steve La

“He was a good soul that had his life taken away for monetary gain,” said 26-year-old Nicholas Valencia, a childhood friend. “He wasn't a violent person.”

Valencia, along with another longtime friend Jordan Goodsan, 28, organized the gathering for those who missed last Friday's Echo Park vigil. It was also a mini-reunion for Butcher's old high school friends.

“He helped me pass 10th grade history,” said Rochelle Caranto, 26, of Eagle Rock. He cared about people. Matt was never 'Mr. Popular,' but he always made a point to get to know you.”

Also in attendance were Butcher's mother Julie, a local union leader, and younger brother Steven.

“I'm just amazed at how many people knew my brother,” said 18-year-old Steven. “It just means the world to me. I'm just trying to take care of my mother as much as possible.”

Later in the evening, Butcher's mother addressed the candlelit circle around her.

Julie Butcher (right); Credit: Steve La

Julie Butcher (right); Credit: Steve La

“I know that everyone feels bad and that's the last thing that he would want,” said the tearful union leader. “The greatest thing is seeing how many people are here tonight.”

Butcher later told the Weekly that she was comforted by his friends and optimistic about the future.

“There is a sense of dignity here tonight that is in contrast to the way he died,” she said.

Police are still searching for the suspects involved in the shooting. Anyone with information is urged to contact Robbery Homicide Division Detectives at (213) 486-6894.

LA Weekly