Father of three gunned down in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA — A lifelong Pico Rivera resident and father of three was shot to death Sunday in an alley near his home, authorities and family members said.
Ernest Salazar, 48, was walking home from the Wagon Wheel bar about 3:30 a.m. near Durfee Avenue and Beverly Road when the shooting occurred, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and relatives.

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Salazar was pronounced dead at the scene, sheriff’s Deputy Lillian Peck said.
His sister, Mary Salazar, recalled him as a kind-hearted, generous man who loved his family.
“He had a loving heart,” she said. “He was a giver. He opened up his heart and his home to anybody and everybody who came around him.”
Few details were released Sunday about the attack, and Mary Salazar said investigators had given her little information.
Detectives handling the investigation did not return calls for comment.
Neighborhood resident Mario Sainz, 16, said he heard what sounded like several gunshots coming from the direction of the alley overnight.
“After I heard the shots, I heard a car leaving,” he said.
Sainz said investigators had blocked off the area until about 9 a.m.
A group of mourners gathered Sunday afternoon at the shooting scene, consoling one another.
They placed candles, beer cans and photos of Ernest Salazar near the area where he was gunned down.
On the wall, the words “R.I.P. Big Veto V.P.V.” were written. Relatives said “Veto” was Salazar’s nickname.
V.P.V. is a commonly used acronym for a Pico Rivera street gang, Varrio Pico Viejo. But Mary Salazar said her brother was not involved in gangs.
“He was just a family man,” she said. “He made friends wherever. “He didn’t have much, but he gave whatever he could.”
Salazar, who grew up in Pico Rivera, had two sons, 27 and 24, and a 21-year-old daughter. He also had several grandchildren, Mary Salazar said, and was a big sports fan.
“He was a die-hard Raider fan,” she said. “He loved the Lakers and he loved the Raiders.”
Ernest Salazar’s niece, Angel Garcia, said her uncle was deeply devoted to family.
“He loved his family so much,” she said. “He was so happy to see or hear you. It made you feel warm inside.”
Relatives said Ernest Salazar would be greatly missed.
“We look at pictures and see the good times we had with him,” Mary Salazar said. “I just want everyone to remember the good times.”

*Photo of Ernest Salazar courtesy of the Salazar family.

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  • Annie Delgado

    Rest in Peace my Brother ! Know that you are greatly loved and will be missed by many many people.
    Your family are in our prayers and I will see you when Tony and I get to Heaven !!

  • James626

    1: Walking home from a bar at 3:30 a.m. in a back alley in Whittier?
    2: Beer cans left and graffiti sprayed at the “makeshift memorial”?
    3: Raiders fan?

    Hmmmmmm

  • http://kasdkaksd AL

    R.I.P

    Mad respect to you,
    Pico is our home..
    I hate that idiots do stuff like this,

    They will get their punishment soon :)

  • Susie and Family in montebello

    My prayers are with the Salazar family as well as his children whom ive know since they were very little And to his parents whom ive know for yrs..im soo sorry for your lost…my prayers are with you thinking of you in prayer we will miss him dearly.. rest in peace ernie..to my compadre im thinking of you.. your lost of your dear brother remembering the good times at your folks house in old pico…

  • mike

    Now that is the weirdest obituary I’ve every read; God fearing family man, hard working, community worker, 3:30am smoked in alley, tated, beer cans, graffiti sprayed on walls, candles, wonder what toxic report will show. If bars close at 2:00am did he get lost for hour and half?.

  • Anonymous

    You know what you need to shut the hell up! what if it was your family! go to hell mike and james!

  • Anonymous

    RIP!!!<333 1ST OF ALL JAMES HE LIVES BY THAT ALLEY 2ND WAT THE HELL IS WRONG WIT BEER CANS 3RD WTF IS WRONG WIT THE RAIDERS U DONT LIKE SPORTS???SHUT THE HELL UP!!! AND MIKE WHO SAID THE WAGON CLOSED AT 2 AND SO WAT IF HE DIDNT GO HOME AFTER WAT DOES IT MATTER TO U!!!!GO TO HELL

  • Anonymous Tres

    Mi Vida Loca