The Deaths of the Los Angeles Riots

Cesar A. Aguilar

Cesar Aguilar, an 18-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Thursday, April 30, 1992, in Westlake. Aguilar, a Honduran immigrant, was arrested with more than 40 other alleged looters near Sam's Corner Liquor Store at 6th Street and Westlake Avenue. Officers say he was ordered to lie prone, and that he then pulled what appeared to be a gun from his waistband and pointed it toward them. Officers fired at Aguilar with a 9-millimeter pistol and a shotgun. He was struck in the chest and died at the scene, according to an initial coroner's account. The "gun," however, was a plastic toy with a black barrel and brown grips, officials said. Aguilar had lived for five months in the Park View Luxury Apartments, a $450-a-month hotel at MacArthur Park. Friends said he delivered newspapers for a living. A father of two, Aguilar had planned to return to Honduras to be reunited with his pregnant girlfriend. Aguilar's body was flown back to Honduras at that government's expense because Aguilar's family could not pay the $1,976, Consul General Rene Francisco Umana said. "It's so sad," Umana said. "Maybe he didn't have an idea to hurt anybody . . . but the situation was so difficult, so grave. In L.A., things can happen."

Read the story at the Los Angeles Times