Friday, December 7, 2007

Hunt for killer of skater hero continues

See earlier post Skateboarder dies as hero.

Victim's family seeks help

Reward offered for information in slaying
By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer

FONTANA - Friends and family of Michael Lee Reed Jr. gathered with police on Thursday at the same location where he was killed last week.They had a request.

For those with knowledge about his killing to come forward with the information.

They also offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killer or killers.

Reed, 21, of Rialto was gunned down after attempting to save a friend on Nov. 21 at Fontana Skate Park. "This makes a difference," said his father, Mike Reed. "My son always practiced peace. He died for a cause."

Young Homes Chairman and CEO Reggie King offered up $10,000 while the city of Fontana gave $5,000.

With a poster board of Reed's image and skateboards hanging from the park's gate, Mike Reed joined Police Chief Larry Clark, Mayor Mark Nuaimi and Councilwoman Acquanetta Warren, asking those responsible to turn themselves in or for anyone with additional information to contact authorities.

Some of Michael Reed's friends - Anthony Bufkin, 18, of Moreno Valley; Vince Bowman, 22, and Sam Arellano, 18, both of Fontana - said they would never forget his humanity or skateboarding skills.

Bowman said Michael Reed spent 12 hours a day working toward becoming a professional skater. He had

Because of Michael Reed's positive influences on other skateboarders, friends and family said the skate park should be renamed the Mike Reed Skate Park and a statue of him should be erected.

At about 8:35 p.m. Nov. 21, a male between the ages of 15 and 18 went to the skate park with three other males to solicit some of the skaters for money and see if they were selling marijuana, according to police.

The male approached John DeLaCruz of Bloomington, grabbed him by the neck, and pointed a handgun at him, according to police.

Michael Reed went to DeLaCruz's aid and tried to convince the male to leave his friend alone, according to police.The male shot Michael Reed in the torso. The four fled.Michael Reed was transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Decker said the homicide was the city's seventh this year. - Skaters gather to mourn victim

FONTANA - About 30 skaters converged Tuesday afternoon at Jack Bulik Park to informally mourn their friend, Michael Lee Reed Jr., in the same spot where he was gunned down Nov. 21.

They decided to gather to console one another and remember their friend before heading to Principles of Faith Christian Center on Merrill Avenue for the 4:30 p.m. viewing.

"This is where we always meet," said Paul Deviny, 22, gesturing to the paved skate ramps. "This is the temple, the church. Welcome to our congregation."

They mainly stood in silence, leaning against parked cars.

Some took to their boards, busting tricks.

Others talked about Reed and his signature move, a switch backside 360 kick flip.

He was the park's best skater, the only one who could land the move, they said.

Reed occasionally skated all the way from his family's home in Rialto to the park, friend Johnny Rivera said. Most of the time, he would spend the night sleeping on Rivera's floor.

"He'd always say, `Hey, let me borrow a shirt,"' said Rivera, 21. "Sometimes I'd give him shoes. He always needed socks."

Rivera lives only three blocks from the park. Staying with Rivera allowed Reed to meet his goal of skating everyday, all day.

Reed wanted to get a sponsor and become a professional, friends said.

They called him their "body guard," "a powerhouse" and a "a peacemaker."

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