Police said this week they have made arrests in the killing of a community and anti-gang activist who was shot the evening of July 1 in South Los Angeles.
Details of the arrests were not immediately released. A news conference was scheduled yesterday at the LAPD’s 77th Street Station to discuss the killing of Garry Dorton, 48, of Los Angeles.
Dorton was shot around 7:30 p.m. July 1 in the 4500 block of South Van Ness Boulevard, police said. He died at a hospital, authorities said.
Dorton was a community intervention worker for Soledad Enrichment Action Inc. (SEA), a nonprofit organization founded in 1972 by mothers in East Los Angeles who had lost their sons to gang violence, according to the group’s Facebook page. SEA provides services to high-risk individuals, families and gang-affected communities in Southern California.
“Garry Dorton was a wonderful man. He spent his life fighting to prevent the senseless violence that took his life …,” according to a statement from SEA. “He worked with young people in South Los Angeles to help them avoid the kind of life he had at their age — one where violence was the norm, not the exception.”
Dorton often worked with film productions in South Los Angeles, according to SEA.
“He negotiated with various communities in which the production would take place — which often crossed enemy territories — to ensure the safety of the shoot, but he would also devise ways in which youngsters from the various territories could be persuaded to work together as part of the production,” SEA said.
“… His death is tragic, but his life was a marvel. His was a story of redemption. He managed to turn his life around in ways that few people – even those with many more resources and privileges than he ever had – could do. Through his strength and perseverance, he saved himself and then he dedicated his life to saving others. His is a life that even as we mourn should be celebrated – always.”