Friends and acquaintances broke down in tears Friday in an Albertsons parking lot. The young boy who died from injuries he suffered there in a bicycle accident was well known to regular shoppers.
"He was an outgoing young man," said neighbor Gregory Berdin. "He was a breath of fresh air, always happy, a dynamite kind of a kid."
Police have now identified the victim as Jeremy Perez, just 7 years old. Perez was riding his bicycle in the grocery store's loading dock area Friday morning when a delivery truck driver somehow failed to see him.
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Family friends said the boy's mother had recently started working at the store, and the youngster was on his way to visit her.
"I think today was her third or fourth day on the job," said store regular Jeff Adamson.
"His mom worked so hard," said a tearful Shannon Adamson. "They don't have very much and they need help."
Perez was struck in the lot of the Albertsons at 2115 Artesia Boulevard in Redondo Beach. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said they were investigating the case as an accident, but their report was not final.
"For the family, for the community, for the business here, for the truck driver, everybody involved," said Sgt. Shawn Freeman of the Redondo Beach Police Dept. "It's a tragic accident so we want to get the best and most complete investigation we can."
It may be small consolation to the family now, but police want to document what happened in a way that might save some other child in the future.
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