Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Park La Brea Murder Victim Remembered by Tenants and Union Members

A memorial altar for slain Park La Brea maintenance employee Tomas Mejia at Tower 33, where he worked. Photos by Angela Gyetvan.


Yesterday, we reported on the Tuesday murder of a maintenance worker at the Park La Brea apartment complex.  At the time of our story, LAPD had not yet released the name of the victim, but today we learned he was Tomas “Jose” Mejia, an executive board member of the Serivce Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), who was well known and loved at his Park La Brea workplace.

According to a Go Fund Me campaign launched to benefit Mejia’s family :

“Our brother, Tomas Mejia, was tragically murdered on June 16th. He was stabbed to death while preventing an intruder from entering the apartment building where he was working. He died as he lived, as a protector and hero. Tomas is survived by his wife and children. He was the sole provider for his family who asked his union to set up this page to help them through this difficult time.

Tomas was a union member, a member of the SEIU-USWW executive board, and a critical part of every struggle and victory that his union had over the last 25 years. He was a person of strong moral character and a strong leader for SEIU-USWW.

Tomas dedicated his life to protecting working people. He was a Peer-to-Peer advocate in the Ya Basta Center, also known as a Compadre; who fought against patriarchy, sexual violence, domestic violence, and the dangers that immigrant workers face on the night shift as janitors.”

The fundraiser was launched by Alejandra Valles, Secretary-Treasurer for SEIU USWW Los Angeles, who writes that “The money raised will help with Tomas’ funeral and burial expenses. We also learned that Tomas had recently bought his first home. Tomas was the sole breadwinner for his family. We are going to continue this fundraiser so that Tomas’ family can stay in the home and not have to experience any displacement.”

The Buzz also spoke today with Angela Gyetvan, the vice president of the Park La Brea Residents’ Association, who cofirmed Mejia was “well known and very well loved” in the community, especially among the residents of Tower 33, where he worked most often.

Gyetvan said that during the recent pandemic months, communications to tenants from the complex’s owners have become less frequent, and she hopes Meija’s death helps to reverse that trend.  She said that when she heard about Meija’s death, she sent out information about the crime to tenants, including the more calming news that LAPD quickly apprehended a suspect and there appear to be no ongoing safety threats to the community.  Gyetvan said that in her e-mail, she also invited tenants to contact her about any other current concerns they think should be conveyed to PLB management, and she heard back quickly from a “statistically significant” percentage of tenants, recounting a rise in recent incidents from things like package thefts to the theft of a car from a secure garage. She said she hopes to schedule a tenant meeting with the owners soon, “just to have a conversation” about these and other concerns.

Gyetvan also invites all Park La Brea residents to contact the residents’ association at [email protected], and/or to visit the group’s website at The cost is $15 to join, and people can also sign up for  newsletters and notification of meetings, events, and other news.  Gyetvan said the group’s next meeting will be held on July 6, via Zoom, and all residents are welcome to attend.



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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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