Father of 3, beloved community member gunned down at Wilmington youth event

An investigation continues and a family is devastated after a beloved father of three who loved to cook for his community was gunned down in the Wilmington area in Los Angeles County

An official with the Los Angeles Police Department said the shooting happened around 10:10 p.m. Thursday outside the Wilmington Recreation Center. A "Summer Night Lights" event for kids was underway when gunshots rang out near West D Street and Bay View Avenue. 

LAPD officials said some volunteers walked over to the sidewalk when they were approached by two people who fired multiple rounds. Following the shooting, the suspects left the scene in an unknown direction. 

On Friday morning, the victim was identified by the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office as 46-year-old Jose Quezada from Carson

LAPD investigators said Quezada was struck by a single bullet, and they believe the shooting was a case of gang violence.

Quezada was loved in the community and police confirm he had no criminal history or gang ties. 

His wife, Sandra De Mora, told FOX 11 he was a wonderful and caring person who helped his community. She said he was always cooking for events at the park.

She recalls being at the park when the shooting happened but did not see the tragic events unfold. She said he was standing in a circle talking when someone came out and started shooting.

Quezada leaves behind his wife and their kids, ages 25, 21 and 10. 

LA Mayor issued the following statement after learning of Quezada's passing: 

"Last night a dedicated Wilmington Community member and someone who has volunteered with Summer Night Lights to uplift his community was killed in a horrific act of violence. This community leader lost his life to the very type of violence he was working so hard to prevent. I join his loved ones in grieving his loss. He was an active community volunteer, coach, father, husband and worked to ensure his community was safe, and to help those who had lost loved ones due to violence. He worked as a volunteer at the Summer Night Lights program in Wilmington, taking action to increase youth and family programming in our public spaces in order to help reduce crime rates. This incident is a tragic reminder that we must fight even harder to ensure that our communities have the tools that they need to stop this senseless violence. My thoughts again are with the family, friends and community as they mourn this tragic loss."

LA County Councilman Tim McOsker said Quezada supported the community and often held BBQs when someone lost their lives due to violence. He is asking the community to come to the park at 6 p.m. followed by a vigil at 7 p.m. 

In addition, counseling services were being made available.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.