The 4900 block of West 99th street in Inglewood is tree-lined and well kept, with a smattering of Halloween ghouls and pumpkins in the front yards. It’s hard for people on this block to believe the attack on a sleeping family in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Maximilian Noh, who lives four doors down from where the family was shot, described the victims as a calm and quiet family. The kind of family he'd say 'hi' to when he passed by and the kids would be playing in the front yard, he said in Spanish.
Every Sunday, he added, he would pass the mother taking her 8-year-old son to soccer.
That son was the only child who escaped physical injury. His father and a little brother died; his mother, sister and another brother sustained gunshot wounds and are expected to survive.
A neighbor who did not want to give her name said the family had lived in the area for years and the now-deceased father was very devoted to his four children.
The neighbor said that days ago she saw the father playing soccer with his kids. She described him as a good father.
Cars drove up and down the block, stopping in front of the victims' home to pay respects. A small shrine of candles adorned the home’s front patio. Ivan Villanueva lives opposite the victims.
"They were part of an extended family who lived on the same block. the dad lived next door and her younger brother lived in the unit next to them, and the younger sister actually was planning on moving in a house down the block. it was very much a close knit unit," he recalled.
As for the man the police suspect of shooting the family and burning down his small rented house at the rear of the property, another Spanish-speaking neighbor said he seemed like any other guy.
She said that whenever he saw her he would always say “Hi,” but added that she didn’t really talk much
with him. He seemed normal, she said, despite his tendency to keep to himself. She would see him cleaning the front yard.
The suspect in this incident is black, and the family is Latino. But neighbor Ivan Villaneuva cautioned that nobody should leap to conclusions based on that.
“No racial tensions, you know, I mean to talk about that is valid but it's not the case here,” he said.
At Chips Cafe in Hawthorne, the diner where the father worked the night shift as a waiter, his colleagues expressed disbelief and didn't want to record interviews. On Sunday they went on as usual serving coffee
and eggs – just, one waitress said, as their co-worker would have done.