Photo by Stephanie Rivera.
In the days since a young mother and her 4-year-old daughter were gunned down near downtown Long Beach Saturday night, community members have gathered at the site of the shooting to pay tribute, with a makeshift memorial filled with flowers, candles and photos displaying moments of happiness in the lives of a now broken family.
Now, community members are preparing to gather once again this weekend to show support for the family of Carina Mancera, 26, and her daughter Jennabel Anaya, who were killed at 9th Street and Locust Avenue, on their way home. Neighbors also hope to promote peace in a part of the city seen as a hot spot for crime.
“We want the family to feel supported during this difficult time,” said Joy Tsuhako, co-owner of Epic Strong, a gym only a few blocks away from the site of the shooting. “We live two blocks away. We felt very connected [to the incident].”
Tsuhako, who has a young child in her family, said the shooting hit a little too close to comfort. Though she didn’t personally know the family, she said wouldn’t be surprised if she saw them pass by her gym where many families walk by.
While she usually promotes community development at her gym by hosting cleanups to pick up trash on nearby streets, Tsuhako said she felt compelled to do something more after hearing about the shooting.
“The shooting happened just hours after one of our regular community cleanup events,” Tsuhako said. “It’s not just about picking up trash at the street.”
With that in mind, Tsuhako has organized a community walk scheduled to begin at 8:00PM on Saturday night, with a message of peace, support for the family, and to say that residents will not live in fear, afraid to go out at night and be terrorized.
The LB Love Your Community Walk event will begin at the gym, located at 1157 Long Beach Boulevard. The walk itself will begin at 8:30PM and participants will walk down 9th Street and end at the site of the shooting where a local religious leader and a member of the victims’ family are expected to speak.
This weekend will also serve as a continuation to raise money for Luis Anaya—Jennabel’s father and Mancera’s boyfriend.
Family and friends of the family have organized two fundraisers to help alleviate costs related to funeral expenses.
Veronica Garcia, one of Luis’s friends from high school and neighbor, helped organize the events and said they are also a way to show support for the family.
“Basically to come together in honor of them,” Garcia said.
On Saturday, August 13, a car wash will be held at 1465 Magnolia Avenue from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.
On Sunday, August 14, a food sale and raffle will take place at Cesar Chavez Park, located at 401 Golden Avenue, beginning at 10:00AM.
For more information on the community walk, click here.