Framework

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Juan Jose Barajas, a father of four, was killed Saturday in a drive-by shooting as he stood outside the Westlake apartment where he lived with his family. Police are seeking his killers, believed to be gang members.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Barajas, 41, sat on the front steps talking with a neighbor. About 12:15 a.m., a gold-colored sedan drove by and someone inside opened fire. Bullets passed through the wrought iron fence surrounding the building, hitting Barajas in the chest.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Barajas' mother, Josefina Vega, 66, was beside herself in her son's small apartment as she held onto family photos and wept.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Well-wishers have gathered each night since Saturday to say the rosary on the patio behind the apartment building on Witmer Street where Barajas lived with his wife and four children.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Father Jose Sanchez de Jesus held a Mass behind the Barajas home Monday evening. The priest grew up in the same town as Barajas' father in Mexico.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Barajas' wife, Maricruz, holds her youngest daughter, Hailey, at the Mass. They are joined her two older children, Juan Jose III, 14, left, and Fatima, 17,

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Barajas' mother places red roses in front of a shrine for her son in the courtyard of the family's Westlake home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Barajas' brother, Jorge, center, mourns. Barajas was a naturalized U.S. citizen. Police do not believe he had gang ties.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Candles mark the spot where Barajas was gunned down.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

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In the concrete courtyard that had hosted family barbecues and children’s birthday parties with piñatas and cake, the mother of Juan Jose Barajas laid out red roses in front of a shrine to her son. The victim was a naturalized U.S. citizen from Mexico without a criminal record, and police do not believe he had gang ties.

Read the story: Community mourns L.A. father of 4 slain in drive-by shooting.

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