Eddie Lopez was 15, happy, popular, a very good student and a talented athlete. He had everything to look forward to, but he was murdered about 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday night, February 28. Eddie was walking along Pico with friends, when a man in a hooded sweatshirt, with a bandana over his face, shouted the name of an L.A. Latino gang and shot at the boys. One of the bullets hit and killed Eddie. The following day, Santa Monica was in shock and Samohi was in mourning. On hearing the news, teachers and students wept and put textbooks aside to talk about their fallen friend. A memorial service was held. Students filled a wall with messages and tributes to Eddie. Over and over again, one phrase was repeated. RIP. Rest in peace.And they tried to make sense of it. But murder is, by definition, senseless, and tragic, and cruel, and stupid and cowardly, and if murder ever begins to make sense to us, then we are surely done for. Eddie was a member of the Santa Monica High School football and baseball teams. He wasn’t a member of a gang. His was only 15, but he was already in the midst of life – studying hard, playing football and baseball, aiming high, and on his way. No one knows what Eddie’s killer was doing on Pico at 9:20 p.m. last Tuesday night or why he shot at Eddie and his friends. He probably doesn’t know himself. What we know is this: the Lopez family has lost a son; Samohi students have lost a friend, Samohi teachers have lost a good student; and Santa Monica has lost a valuable resident. Such losses are unbearable and unacceptable, and somehow we must find the will and the means to stop them.
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