[symple_googlemap title=”Gerrick Thomas shoooting” location=”54th Street and Ninth Avenue, Los Angeles, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”16″]

The family of 21-year-old Gerrik Thomas plans to ask the public Thursday for help tracking down whoever gunned down their son on a street in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles on Jan. 25.

The family issued a statement Wednesday night challenging the people in the area to step forward and identify the killer. The family also condemned the code of silence that stops potential witnesses from cooperating with police to bring killers to justice.

“As a community we cannot sit back silently while our young people are being gunned down on the streets of a city that is named after angels. We cannot stand by in silence when gun violence is at an all time high. We can not allow persons to sit in silence knowing that this murderer is running loose on our streets,” the family wrote.

“We shout and hold rallies when our kids are killed by police officers but won’t speak up when our own are killing each other,” the family added.

The family, which planned a news conference in South Los Angeles this morning, also expressed thanks for the support they have received from the community and from civic and religious leaders. The family also pleaded with anyone who has information on the person who shot and killed Gerrik to come forward and speak to police.

Thomas was shot about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, at 54th Street and Ninth Avenue, according to Los Angeles police Officer Mike Lopez. Thomas died later at California Hospital, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Thomas had gone to a market to buy a soda when he was confronted by two young men driving by who yelled out a typical gang challenge, “Where you from?” Thomas didn’t answer.

The car stopped in front of the M & J Hand Car Wash. The two men got out. One grabbed Thomas and the other shot him in the head.

There were no protest marches or demonstrations for Thomas, his family points out, expressing the hope the public will recognize these kinds of killings as unacceptable.

—City News Service

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