News Details

Statement by Councilmember Isaac Galvan on Family Tragedy

February 23, 2016

COMPTON - The following statement is from Second District Councilmember Isaac Galvan regarding Monday’s shooting in East Los Angeles that killed one of his brothers and left a second brother injured:

"Two weeks ago I received a terrible call informing me that one-year-old Compton resident Autumn Johnson was killed by a stray bullet while resting in her crib. Ever since, this unspeakable tragedy has been weighing heavily on my heart and I have become gripped with the conviction that I must do everything in my power to end gang related gun violence and to protect its innocent victims. 

Yesterday, I received another terrible call informing me that a shooting had occurred in front my mother's home in East Los Angeles. The senseless drive-by shooting—that was a case of mistaken identity—sadly involved my two younger brothers Larry and Dennis. 

While Dennis received only minor wounds, tragically my brother Larry passed away after being severely wounded in the chest.

The gunman or gunmen are still at large.

As anyone can imagine, this is a terrible family tragedy and we ask for both privacy and prayers as my family mourns Larry's death. However, as an elected public servant, I believe it's important to set the record straight as to the circumstances of this tragedy. 

Neither Larry nor Dennis are or were in the past gang members. 

While, imperfect like all of us, they are and were good people with a hopeful future.

I have four siblings including Larry. My mother, without the emotional or financial help of a father, raised all five of us on her own and with limited resources. But she was strong and taught us good values. We were all brought up in church and we were positively influenced by that guidance. 

Although I did sometimes struggle through high school, with the guidance of my mother, I regularly attended church, became a person of faith and eventually a youth pastor. Because of that experience, I learned that life can be hopeful and that people of goodwill can make a difference. Ultimately, that hope led me to public service­ and that's why as a member of the Compton City Council I work so hard to promote programs aimed at assisting at-risk youth.

I will take the necessary time to mourn Larry's death and to comfort my mother and other family members. However, I will soon return to public service with a renewed commitment to provide enriching activities for Compton's youth and to work toward stronger laws to keep guns off of our streets.

Finally, I would like to say that the lives of innocent victims such as Autumn Johnson and my brother Larry are meaningful and they will not be forgotten. With God's guidance, we will overcome and end this senseless violence.

I am especially thankful to everyone for their prayers and condolences for both Autumn Johnson and my brother Larry."