Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Black, white, Latino, Asian, unknown: A list of victims from the 1992 Los Angeles riots

A fire department crew sprays water on a burning mini-mall in South Los Angeles, April 30, 1992
A fire department crew sprays water on a burning mini-mall in South Los Angeles, April 30, 1992 Photo by Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

The Los Angeles riots of 1992, which 20 years ago today were just winding down, have been called the nation's first truly multiracial riots. In the violence and arson that killed more than 50 people, injured thousands and led to nearly $1 billion in property damage, Angelenos of multiple races and ethnicities were were both victims and perpetrators of the unrest, and no one was left out.

Today, the @RealTimeLARiots Twitter account that NBC Southern California has been using to live-tweet the developments as they happened two decades ago tweeted:

Published on this date in 1992, the newspaper's list tallied the known victims (the actual number has been debated since). They were black, white, Latino, Asian, unknown. They included men and women ranging in age from an 89-year-old woman who suffered heart trouble during the rioting and died to four 15-year-old boys, black, white and Latino, all dead of gunshot wounds.

The bulk of the victims listed are black (16) and Latino (14, although three of these weren't listed as Latino but had Spanish surnames). Six were identified as white and two as Asian. Several others were unidentified; others' ethnicity wasn't listed. In its entirety, the list is a sad testament to how the riots left no one out. From the tally of dead for Thursday, April 30, 1992:

* About 6:30 p.m.: Matthew Haines, 32, white auto mechanic, was pulled off his motorcycle at 19th and Lemon streets in Long Beach by a mob and fatally shot in the head. His nephew, a passenger, was wounded by a gunshot in the arm.

* Time unknown: An Asian man was found shot to death at Willowbrook Avenue and Alondra Boulevard.

* About 8 p.m.: LAPD officers shot and killed a male Latino suspected of looting a Shell service station at Western and Vernon avenues and pointing a shotgun at police.

* 8:21 p.m.: A 32-year-old male Latino was stabbed to death at 2034 W. Pico Blvd.

* 8:36 p.m.: Gregory Davis, a 15-year-old black youth, died at County-USC Medical Center of gunshot wounds suffered Wednesday night while standing on his front lawn near Vermont Avenue and 43rd Street. Police investigators believe the bullet was shot randomly from blocks away.

* 9:37 p.m.: Eduardo Vela, a 34-year-old Latino from Bakersfield area, died of gunshot wounds suffered at 5142 W. Slauson Ave. He had driven to Los Angeles with a friend to take care of personal business. Trapped in an area of unrest, the friend left the car to call his boss and tell him the two would not make it back for work. When the friend returned, Vela was dead.

* About 10 p.m.: LAPD officers shot and killed a male Latino suspected of looting at 6th and Westlake streets when he drew what turned out to be a toy gun.

* 10:30 p.m.: Edward Song Lee, 18, was shot in a confusing cross-fire of two rival groups and LAPD officers at 3rd and Hobart streets. It was unclear if Lee, identified by coroner's officials as being of Korean descent, was shot by officers or civilians.


The riots began the afternoon of April 29, 1992, after a jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers in the severe beating of Rodney King, a black motorist who was pulled over after a chase. The violence, arson and looting lasted for several days afterward.

The entire Los Angeles Times casualty list can be seen here.

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