Photo via Wikimedia Commons from public domain.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons from public domain.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, will mark the two-year anniversary of his father’s unsolved murder Thursday by taking part in a candlelight vigil and procession in Silver Lake.

Joseph Gatto, 78, was fatally shot Nov. 12, 2013, in his home in the 2800 block of Bright Lane in Silver Lake. He was a longtime public-school arts teacher, painter, jewelry-designer and author. Gatto was honored as California Arts Teacher of the Year in 1986, and was honored at the White House by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

A $50,000 reward has been offered by the Los Angeles City Council for information that leads to the killer or killers. Despite the reward offer, no leads have been developed in the case, according to Gatto, who will take part in a 6:30 p.m. Thursday remembrance ceremony beginning at Telsa Pocket Park, 2712 Tesla Ave. Participants will then walk to Bright Lane and West Silver Lake Drive for a candlelight vigil near his father’s home.

Last year, a section of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway between the Long Beach (710) and Golden State (5) freeways was dedicated as the Joseph Gatto Memorial Highway. The dedication ceremony was held in front of a mural of Joseph Gatto at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which he co- founded in 1985.

“My father always said that education is the freeway to success, and it’s only fitting that the highway he drove on each day to provide students with that education is now named after him,” Mike Gatto said during the ceremony.

Authorities said the senior Gatto died of a single gunshot wound and his body was discovered 24 hours after he was shot.

At the time the reward was offered, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said detectives were seeking a “person of interest,” described as a man 18 to 25 years old, who was involved in a car burglary and an assault with a deadly weapon the same day Gatto was killed.

Witnesses described the man as white, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing around 180 pounds. He wore a multi-colored hooded sweatshirt and tan pants, a tan backpack and carried a handgun.

Police said he threatened witnesses with death when he was caught breaking into a vehicle in the 2300 block of Moreno Drive on Nov. 12, 2013.

When the first of two witnesses confronted the him, he pointed a gun and threatened to kill her. When another witness confronted him, he repeated the threat. He then fled on foot down public stairs on Tesla Avenue.

— Wire reports 

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