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Santa Monica residents plan vigil for victims of recent violence

June 16, 2013|By Carlos Lozano

Responding to a rash of shootings in their community, Santa Monica residents and community leaders will hold a vigil and procession Sunday evening to call for peace and healing.

Organizers said a gunman’s shooting rampage on June 7 that left six dead was followed by three other shooting incidents that left one dead and two others injured.

“Although we have reduced gang and youth violence in recent years, the incidents of the past few days are a wake-up call that our city must not regress in its effort to address” the violence, Oscar de la Torre, a Santa Monica school board member, said in a prepared statement.

WHO THEY WERE: Santa Monica shooting victims

The vigil will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Kansas and Yorkshire avenues, the focal point of the shooting rampage that ended at Santa Monica College. Police fatally shot John Zawahri, 23, inside the college library after he had killed five people, including his father and brother.

Organizers plan to follow a route that will memorialize the fallen.

The Pico Youth & Family Center along with various community groups have also called a Townhall Meeting on Violence Prevention scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m.

“We invited residents, youth, clergy, parents and community leaders from Santa Monica and beyond to support movement for peace, unity and social justice,” said Francisco Juarez, a member of the family center.

“We cannot let the tragic death of our community members happen without a renewed commitment to building a safer community.”

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carlos.lozano@latimes.com

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