A father and his 4-year-old son killed in a shooting rampage at their Inglewood home were laid to rest on Friday.
Nine years ago, Filimon Lamas and Gloria Jimenez were married at St. Joseph Church in Hawthorne. On Friday, the young wife and mother returned to the church to say goodbye to her husband and son.
Filimon Lamas, 20, and Giovanni, 4, were buried together in one casket.
Gloria Jimenez walked with crutches, her legs still recovering from gunshot wounds she suffered trying to shield her children when a gunman, identified as a tenant in the process of being evicted, allegedly set the family's back house on fire early last Saturday then bursted in their home and started shooting.
Crystal, 7, her arm still in a sling from the shooting, was helped by relatives as she made her way through the church. Anthony, 8, who hid from the gunman beneath a blanket, on Friday gently laid his head against the casket carrying his father and brother.
Fr. Greg Kelly led the Spanish-language ceremony, reminding the mourners to hold onto their faith.
“It was every parent’s nightmare, in fear, above all we feel powerless,” Kelly said.
One woman, overcome with grief, had to be taken from the church by paramedics.
Among the hundreds of people who gathered were dozens of local police officers who have setup a fund to help the family.
“This was a tragedy like I’ve never seen in 38 years in police work,” said Inglewood Mayor James Butts. “The heroics of the mother and father to protect their children from a senseless killer are admirable, and an example for everyone.”
Gloria Jimenez left the church in a wheelchair, kissing her wedding ring and clutching her surviving children.
“The family has said the words, ‘Forgive him for he did not know what he was doing’, we’ve said the words. It’s going to take a lifetime to live it,” Kelly said.