A vigil was held Friday night for Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo, who was fatally shot by his wife during a fight at their condo in an incident that shocked the small city.
The event was organized by friends of the mayor who was also a veteran parole officer. They decided to go ahead despite emerging revelations that paint a troubling picture of his personal life.
"There's a lot of accusations I have listened to, a lot of them are very false accusations they are doing against Crespo," friend Sally Hoyt said. "And that's not fair because he's not here to defend himself."
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The 45-year-old mayor was shot Tuesday at the family's condominium in the 6300 block of Gage Avenue. Authorities say Crespo's wife, Lyvette, 43, shot him multiple times after he punched their 19-year-old son in the face.
Lyvette Crespo remains free as authorities investigate the shooting.
Her lawyer describes her as a longtime victim of domestic violence, but her brother-in-law says that allegation is a lie.
Friends defended him at the Friday night vigil.
"I don't want his name being dragged through the mud, nothing like that," friend Daniel Alvarez said.
In public life, Crespo was the friendly mayor of a working class city of 40,000 and the father of two who was still married to the high school sweetheart from Brooklyn who moved west with him.
But once hidden turmoil in his personal life is emerging in pursuit of the explanation why wife Lyvette shot him multiple times in the torso, in front of their grown son, Daniel Jr.
Their account of his domestic violence, of striking the son, is something his close friends and brother cannot grasp.
"If it was that, she should have called 911," said William Crespo, his brother. "She shouldn't have taken matters into her own hands. She's not the cops."
Sources told the NBC4 I-Team that there was no historical indication of abuse to the son and daughter. There were no documented reports of abuse to the wife and there were no calls to police reporting domestic violence to the home.
William Crespo acknowledges that his brother engaged in an illicit affair and that the other woman had phoned the Crespo household earlier Tuesday, possibly triggering the confrontation.
Lyvette Crespo's attorney could not immediately be reached.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide Lt. Steve Jauch has said the circumstances are still under investigation.
Beverly White contributed to this report.