Mentor Slain in Christmas Day Shooting Remembered: "He Was a Gift"

Victor McClinton worked for 18 years as a civilian employee with the LA County Sheriff's Department, but was better known as a mentor and youth coach.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Victor McClinton worked for 18 years as a civilian employee with the LA County Sheriff's Department, but was better known as a mentor and youth coach. Janet Kwak reports from Pasadena for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2012

    Described as an adoring father, a dedicated mentor and a pillar in the community, Victor McClinton’s vigil drew hundreds of mourners to the steps of Pasadena City Hall Thursday night.

    "Victor was a loving and devoted family man," said Danny Bakewell, friend of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee who was killed by a stray bullet on Christmas Day.

    Thursday night, flickering candle lights held by quiet relatives and emotional friends honored the 49 year old who grew up in the projects without a mother and to everyone became the father he never had.

    "Many times we look for examples that have good character. Victor was that person," said Jacques Bolton, friend. "I never met a person in my life that came from so little and gave so much."

    "Pasadena Has a Gang Problem," Advocate Says

    [LA] "Pasadena Has a Gang Problem," Advocate Says
    Hundreds of mourners attended a vigil Thursday evening for Victor McClinton, who was shot and killed by a stray bullet on Christmas Day in Pasadena. McClinton's death and that of two others in a violent Christmas pursuit crash are prompting renewed calls to curb gang violence in the city. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Pasadena for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2012.

    McClinton worked for 18 years with the LA County Sheriff’s Department as a civilian technician, but he was better known as a dedicated coach. He founded the Brotherhood Community Sports League about 15 years ago, neighbors told NBC4.

    Killed in the crossfire of a car-to-car shooting just outside his Pasadena home on Christmas night, McClinton is survived by his wife and two children. Detectives do not believe he was the intended target of the shooting.

    "We have parts of the puzzle but we are looking to put all that together so that we could ultimately identify the persons responsible," said Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez.

    Police were attempting to determine whether the vehicle involved in a crash that killed two people late Tuesday was the same vehicle described by shooting witnesses. Also, investigators retrieved a firearm discarded during the chase.

    "During the pursuit, one of the occupants discarded a loaded handgun that was later recovered by Pasadena police officers," police said in a statement.

    It would take up to two weeks for ballistics tests to conclude whether the weapons used in both incidents are the same.

    Four people -- 22-year-old Darryl Williams, 21-year-old Brittany Washington, 22-year-old Demauria Hannah and 18-year-old Jada Mays -- were in custody in connection with the deadly crash.

    But as investigations continued to piece together the complicated string of events, the focus Thursday night shifted from tragedy to tribute (pictured below).

    "I just looked up to how he went about life," said Tyler Artis, student. "He was always smiling and sometimes I wish I could be like that."

    "Anywhere, you would just see him, and I'd be like how do you have time, and he's like, 'They're my kids. I'm here to support them,'" friend Robin Quintanilla recalled. "And I feel like we lost a great person. That's who he was."

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