Marciana Gonzalez Lamas, mother of the slain Filimon Lamas, mourns at Chips… (Francine Orr / Los Angeles…)
Grieving family members gathered outside the 1950s Chips diner in Hawthorne to remember Filimon Lamas, 33, and his 4-year-old son, who were killed in a weekend rampage in which five members of the Inglewood family were shot by a masked gunman believed to be wearing body armor.
Two police departments also announced that they have set up assistance funds for the surviving members.
"This here is our way to reach out and give this beautiful family, the recovering wife, the recovering children a start," said Hawthorne Police Chief Robert Fager. "A start that could be a brighter future down the road, but right now feels like their world is caved in."
Authorities believe that 55-year-old John Moses, who rented a bungalow on the same property as the family, shot the family about 4 a.m. Saturday, then set fire to his own home because he blamed them for his eviction. He was found clutching a revolver with a bullet wound to the head, amid the ashes of his home.
Authorities said parents Lamas and Gloria Jimenez, 28, both tried to protect their four children when the gunshots started.
"He was a hero," his sister Emma Lamas said of Filimon.
Outside the café, surrounded by photos of the family, community leaders and family members recounted stories of a devoted father who gave back to his community. Lamas, a part owner of Chips, received an award from the city of Hawthorne after he donated breakfasts to the city.
"He represented an ideal that I think everybody professes to want to embellish in their own lives," Fager said. "He was a hard-working, loving, dedicated family man."
The Inglewood Police Department set up a fund for the family and said donations can be made out to the Lamas Family Donation Fund, account No. 5223, at the ICE Federal Credit Union: 1 West Manchester Blvd., Suite 603, Inglewood, CA 90301. For more information call (310) 412-5493.
The Hawthorne Police Department also announced that it had set up a Jimenez/Lamas Donation Fund for the family. According to a news release, donations can be given at any local Wells Fargo Bank. The account number is 4122412588.