Eric Mandivelle, 20
Eric Mandivelle, 20, a black man, was shot at 1872 Locust Ave. in Long Beach and died at 2 a.m. Sunday, April 22. Long Beach officers responding to a shots-fired call, which came at 1:40 a.m., found him lying on the grass. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not a gang member. He worked at McDonald's.
"Soft-spoken and quiet-like," is how an acquaintance described him. "A little sharp guy who had his head on straight," said another. "He was not the type to be hanging out." At 20, he was on his own in life, getting by with a fast-food job and living in small apartment off an alley with his sister. At the North Long Beach McDonald's, he took pains every day to greet an older Latina employee in Spanish. "He'd say, 'hola! Como esta?" she said, then began to cry. Anyone with any information, including anonymous tips, is asked to call Long Beach Det. Pat O'Dowd at (562) 570-7244.
Dispatch: Eric Mandivelle, 20 [Originally published April 27, 2007]
Eric Mandivelle earned six dollars and eighty cents an hour working part-time at McDonald's in Long Beach.
He combined his money with the paychecks his sister Lavonne earned at her job as a nursing assistant. There was just enough for the pair to get by.
The siblings had been raised in foster care. They didn't know where their father was, said Lavonne, Eric's elder by five years. Their mother had drug problems and vanished. For years Lavonne thought she was dead.
When Lavonne turned 18, she was emancipated from foster care. She immediately took her brother out of the system to live with her. The two of them survived however they could, sometimes relying on motel vouchers from homeless shelters to stay off the streets.
They went to school. They worked. Eventually, they were able to afford a small apartment off an alley in North Long Beach. In front, men drank out of cans in paper bags and music from car stereos boomed. But it was an improvement on where they'd been.
Eric would start getting ready for work two hours before he had to leave. He shaved so closely that his neck was peppered with little nicks. He toiled over his shirts, which always looked crisply ironed. He put on his McDonald's apron and his hat. His sister marveled that he wasn't embarrassed to wear them on the bus. "Am I down?" he would ask her, worried that some part of him still did not look groomed. Then he set off, always forgetting to turn off the iron.
At work, his co-workers and bosses knew nothing of his history. He was a well-liked employee--quiet, earnest, clean-cut. He often asked his bosses how he was doing, how he could get better, said McDonald's supervisor Don Cunnane. "I still can't believe it. Such a good kid," he said.
He was shot at 1872 Locust Ave. in Long Beach as he headed to the local store to buy cigarettes around 2 a.m. Sunday, April 22. Later that morning, bosses at McDonald's noticed Eric hadn't shown up for work. Cunnane, the franchise supervisor, was so concerned that he came out to the crime scene.
In the days after, Lavonne cried on the floor and had visions of Eric. She thought he was trying to tell her who killed him. "It was just me and him," she said. "He was all I had left."
Photo: A friend of Eric Mandivelle's scrubs a car at a street car wash held to raise funds for his funeral on Sunday, April 29, in Long Beach. Credit:Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times