[Update: LAPD Detective Larry Burcher tells the Weekly that as of Tuesday night, Loma has been declared brain-dead, though he's still hooked up to the breathing machine. Burcher says the hospital is “working with the Mexican consulate, trying to get his mother up here from Mexico” before anything is made official. But the case is being treated as a homicide, and Burcher says detectives are “working on some information” they've received in connection to the case. Godspeed.]
Updated after the jump with reaction from the owner of trendy, well-loved El Chavo restaurant in Silver Lake, where Loma worked as a busser.
Originally posted August 8 at 9 a.m.
CBS2 aired an awful story last night on the seemingly random, near-death shooting of 23-year-old L.A. resident Juan David Vasquez Loma, who friends identified as just David Vasquez but who goes by Juan David Loma on Facebook.
He's described as a friendly, hardworking employee of both El Chavo restaurant and Garage Pizza in Silver Lake. Co-workers at Garage told CBS2 reporters that Loma had been sending money back to his family in Mexico, and was saving up to move back himself. But after the shooting Sunday morning, Loma's family members are now reportedly on their way…
… to the County/USC Medical Center, where the victim is on life support.
City News Service reports that Loma was driving a couple colleagues home from Garage, a popular post-bar munchie stop located along Sunset Boulevard and open until 4 a.m., when someone in what was possibly a green Honda pulled up next to his Chevy truck and shot him through the head.
The shooting was reported at 5:08 a.m. in a nice neighborhood on the border of Silver Lake and Echo Park, at the intersection of Silver Lake Boulevard and West Scott Place. Sources tell CBS2 “that the shooting suspects are a man and a woman who were driving in a dark-colored four door sedan.”
Detective Larry Burcher at the LAPD's Northeast Division says he believes the shooting was a “road rage incident,” and that there is “no reason to believe [the shooter and victim] knew each other.” He says Loma is still on life support at the hospital, but is not expected to survive.
As for the two passengers in Loma's truck: “We have spoken with them but we're keeping that information confidential,” says Burcher.
Footage of Loma's workplace and shocked co-workers:
Did you know Juan David Vasquez Loma? Or were you out in Silver Lake/Echo Park on Saturday night, and see anything suspicious? Let us know.
Update: Here's a reaction statement from El Chavo owner Melanie Tusquellas, as well as information on how to donate money to Loma's family in this difficult time.
El Chavo Restaurant is deeply saddened by the senseless and violent crime committed against fellow co‐worker and long time employee Juan David Vasquez Loma. …
Juan is a well‐liked co‐worker, compadre and friend. He is a kind and thoughtful person and diligent worker. Juan works 2 full‐time jobs and regularly sends funds home to his family in Mexico City.
We ask that anyone with information that can help in the capture of the criminals who committed this act to please call Northeast homicide detectives at (213) 847‐4261.
A victim's fund has been established to help with associated medical costs and potential bereavement cost for Juan David and his family. Donations can be made via check or cash to any Citibank branch or dropped off at El Chavo Restaurant or Garage Pizza to the :
Juan David Vasquez Loma Victims Fund
Citibank account # 20420419