Craig Batiste Death – Obituary : Authorities are seeking for the gunman in the shooting death of a beloved community leader in South Los Angeles, according to reports.
54-year-old former gang member turned neighborhood peacemaker was shot dead Wednesday morning near West 111th and South Hobart, close to where he grew up., officials say.
Skipp Townsend, a friend and fellow gang interventionist. said; “everyone knew Batiste by his nickname “Big,” not for his size, but for what the 54-year-old did for his community. He was holding this area together. He is a peacekeeper, he is the interventionist that would be out here if this was someone else and make sure these young guys don’t go anywhere or hurt anybody.”
Batiste maintained many of the schools in his neighborhood and was a part of LA’s Safe Passage Program, walking children to and from school, steering them away from trouble.
“He was little in stature but big in heart… and also was soft as a teddy bear,” Townsend added.
LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, said “gun violence knows no boundaries. We will remember Craig as a community leader and honor his memory by working to end the scourge of gang and gun violence.”
Christopher Godbolt, a childhood friend added; “I’ve been with him when the principal called and told him — hey there’s this going on with a certain child — he’d be like, let me have them.”
Wednesday morning, just before nine, investigators say a passenger in a dark-colored sedan opened fire on Batiste as he ran away.
Authorities are working to know a motive.
“In my belief, whoever did this couldn’t have known who he was because I don’t believe anyone who knows that he was the fabric of this community — that he was the one holding it together — would ever hurt a peacemaker,” Townsend added.