Police today identified three young men who were arrested in the July 1 shooting death of a community and anti-gang activist in South Los Angeles.
Garry Dorton, 48, of Los Angeles was gunned down around 7:30 p.m. July 1 in the 4500 block of South Van Ness Boulevard and died at a hospital.
The suspects, who were booked on suspicion of murder, were identified as Brandon Dixon, 24, and Dejone Wright, with bail set at $8 million and $7 million, respectively, and 18-year-old Omario Guerrero, who’s being held without bail, according to police.
Dorton was a community intervention worker for Soledad Enrichment Action Inc., a nonprofit founded in 1972 by mothers in East Los Angeles who had lost their sons to gang violence, according to the group’s Facebook page. SEA provides services to high-risk individuals, families and gang-affected communities in Southern California.
At a news conference at the LAPD’s 77th Street Station this morning, Eula Hooks said her grandson was killed on her birthday.
“It’s hard for me to talk about it because it was on my birthday,” Hooks said. “I even awaken at night, thinking about my poor baby.”
Earlier, SEA posted a statement about Dorton, calling him “a wonderful man” who “spent his life fighting to prevent the senseless violence that took his life … He worked with young people in South Los Angeles to help them avoid the kind of life he had at their age — one where violence was the norm, not the exception.”
Dorton often worked with film productions in South Los Angeles, according to the nonprofit, which said he “negotiated with various communities in which the production would take place — which often crossed enemy territories — to ensure the safety of the shoot, but he would also devise ways in which youngsters from the various territories could be persuaded to work
together as part of the production.”
“… His death is tragic, but his life was a marvel. His was a story of redemption. He managed to turn his life around in ways that few people — even those with many more resources and privileges than he ever had – could do,” according to the SEA. “Through his strength and perseverance, he saved himself and then he dedicated his life to saving others. His is a life that even as we mourn should be celebrated — always.”