Filimon Lamas was a hardworking father, who as a hail of bullets rocked his neighborhood, draped his body over his children, trying to shield them from the gunfire. His selfless sacrifice may have saved the lives of his 7-year-old daughter and his 6-year-old son, who are in critical condition after a rampaging neighbor being evicted in Inglewood, Ca. attacked the family before dawn on Saturday.
The father, 30, was shot multiple times and died in surgery at the University of California Medical Center, as did his 4-year old son.
The 4-year-old boy had been carried out into the street by his mother, who was shot in both legs, and remains in critical condition with her 6-year-old son who was wounded in his pelvis and 7-year-old daughter who was shot in the chest. An 8-year-old boy escaped uninjured. According to neighbors, the couple is Filimon and Gloria Lamas.
Neighbors were awakened by the sound of gunshots. “I heard a man yelling,” said Fanny Paiz to The Los Angeles Times. “Then I saw a lady run out into the street with a child in her arms. She was bleeding. She was standing in the middle of the street with the child, whose face was covered in blood. She fell down, screaming, ‘He’s shooting me. He’s shooting me.’ “
The suspect is Desmond John Moses. Authorities said a body had been found in the smoldering ruins of Moses’ rental house, but the identity has not been confirmed. Moses, who authorities said is in his mid-50s, was described as reclusive and “really weird” by neighbors.
Moses lived at the end of a lot with two other homes — each owned by the victims and their family. He had lived there for two decades and not paid his rent for years, according to neighbors. The landlord said that on Tuesday a court gave Moses 15 days to get out of the house.
Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Tom Richards told the Los Angeles Times that the suspect was a “pack rat.” The house was so full of debris that a ladder truck was needed to help move it.
Children and neighbors claimed they heard pleas for help and saw the house collapsing upon itself in the flames. They also saw Gloria Lamas run out into the street. Authorities say that despite being shot in both legs, she managed to jump over a fence with her son, who had been shot in the head. Paramedics found her collapsed in the street.
A neighbor remembered the father, who in his last moments protected his children.
“Phillip was a very hardworking man. He and Gloria were high school sweethearts,” said a woman who was crying uncontrollably at the scene. “Their kids were all the world to them.”