Alongside the 21-year-old victim’s mourning mother, Los Angeles police on Tuesday announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in a fatal shooting near Hyde Park in January.
Gerrik Thomas was shot about 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in the 3100 block of West 54th Street.
Lead Detective Connie Zych said police are investigating the crime as “gang-influenced,” though Thomas was not a gang member. She said he worked as a security guard and was a nursing student.
Los Angeles Police Department officials said during a news conference that Thomas was walking to a store from his grandmother’s house when a silver Chevrolet Camaro with a black top pulled up to him and two men asked him where he was from.
Thomas was shot and later died at a hospital. During the news conference, police showed surveillance footage leading up to the shooting.
The victim’s mother, Demicha Lofton-Thomas, said she had been talking to her son just before the shooting occurred.
“Just imagine if I would have stayed on that phone one minute later. I would have heard that shot that took my son’s life,” Lofton-Thomas said.
“It’s bad enough that I have to relive this every day in my head.”
She added that she has been frustrated by the Black Lives Matter movement because it only focuses on police-involved shootings.
“It’s not just about law enforcement, all lives matter,” she said. “It’s a black man that killed my kid, so how can people preach that black lives matter? I don’t believe in that.”