Crime & Justice

South LA vigil held for Mario Deleon Rivera, killed in gang crossfire

Diego Deleon at the vigil for his father, Mario Deleon Rivera.
Diego Deleon at the vigil for his father, Mario Deleon Rivera.
Brian Watt/KPCC

Listen to story

Download this story 0.0MB

Friends and family of Mario Deleon Rivera held a candlelight vigil Thursday in South Los Angeles. Rivera died Tuesday evening in a gang-related shooting.

The vigil took place at the scene of the shooting, on 29th Street just west of Crenshaw Boulevard. About 30 people gathered around votives and white flowers in prayer. Mario Deleon Rivera was 52 years old, married, a father of three.

"I always imagined my dad with my mom in the future," Rivera's 18 year-old son said, breaking down in tears.

Los Angeles police detectives are still investigating the shooting. Tuesday was the birthday of Rivera's wife, Vilma Hermosilla. As they stopped near their home for food, Rivera was reportedly caught in gang crossfire and shot in the back. Diego Deleon said his father pieced together a living as a musician.

"He played piano, he could play a lot of instruments. He could play the guitar, trumpet, a lot of things."

Mario Deleon Rivera left Guatemala 3 years ago with his family and came to Southern California. They’d planned to move back to Guatemala next month.