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Matthew Benjamin Butcher, 27

Matthew Benjamin Butcher (2010-06-24)

Matthew Butcher, a 27-year-old white man, was shot and killed Thursday, June 24, in the 1300 block of West Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Butcher was working at Higher Path Holistic Care, a medical marijuana dispensary, about 4:15 p.m. when four suspects entered. At gunpoint, they ordered Butcher and another employee to lie face-down on the ground as they ransacked the facility for marijuana and money, police sources said.

Photo: Officers gather at the shooting scene. Credit: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles TimesAlthough Butcher and the other worker did not resist, the attackers shot them, killing Butcher and critically wounding the other, according to police sources.

They said the account of the shooting came from the surviving victim, who has been able to speak with detectives from his hospital bed.

Before fleeing, the suspects removed the videotape from the facility's surveillance system, according to the police officials.

Matt Butcher was the son of Julie Butcher, a well-known L.A. labor leader. Butcher’s mother described the killing as “totally senseless,” saying her son was simply trying to cobble together part-time jobs in a tough economy.

“He was one of the most peaceful people,” said Butcher, who works as a regional director of the Service Employees International Union Local 721. “He would have given them anything they wanted. There’s no reason for anyone to die over marijuana.”

-- Ruben Vives

Photo: Officers gather at the shooting scene. Credit: John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times

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