Questions linger for family a year after a 19-year-old's slaying: 'Who did it and why?'
For years, La Kiesha Marshall’s family has gathered at the home she shares with her mother in Gramercy Park. On Sunday, as cousins and aunts set up tables and a barbecue for sausages, hot dogs and ribs, the guest of honor was missing.
Exactly one year to the day, Marshall’s son, Justin Logie, 19, was shot and killed outside a gathering in the 100 block of East Florence Avenue.
Los Angeles police Officer Tom Callian said that inside the event at a club about 2 a.m., a dispute flared up. As people walked outside, gunfire erupted. Logie was shot near his SUV, and police are still trying to determine why he was targeted.
In the year since Logie was killed, his mother has tried to keep his memory alive. She has started a weekly group for grieving family members, which she likes to call an “evening of remembrance.” She’s gone to events for victims of crime to share her experience.
Marshall saved a banner with her son’s face, and as people walked past it into the backyard, they could sign a guestbook or write a message. People sat in patio chairs as balloons with ‘Happy Anniversary” swayed overhead.
On Logie’s banner, his mother had written: “Here we are, one year later, you will never be forgotten. Love you, Moms.” At one point, relatives recalled that night.
“That was so hard,” said a cousin, Adrienne Thompson. Thompson, who lives in San Bernardino County, drove to L.A. in the middle of the night after she got the call that Logie had been shot.
“There’s still a million questions, but the first one is who did it and why?” Thompson said.
For Callian, the investigation has proved difficult. More than 100 people were leaving the club at the time of the shooting, but very few have spoken up.
“It’s kind of like pulling teeth,” he said.
There’s a $50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the assailant or assailants as well.
“Any information is good information,” Callian said.
Thompson said that Logie helped his mother in many ways. He gave her rides and babysat his younger brother whenever she needed him.
“He was her right hand,” she said.
Marshall sat in a chair under an umbrella and teared up at the thought of Logie. She said her son was her best friend.
“This person that did this, they just don’t know what they have done,” she said. “Because I will never be the same.”
In the past year, Marshall has lost 30 pounds. With the assailants in her son’s killing still at large, she said she is cautious of her surroundings.“I take a different route each day,” she said.
Sophia Lopez was among several of Logie’s friends at the barbecue. Lopez said she had known Logie for only a year, but in that short time he encouraged her to start her own clothing and hair boutique, a goal she’s still working toward.
Lopez said Logie was like a brother to her, especially after her own brother was incarcerated.
“He filled that void,” she said.
Photo: La Kiesha Marshall stands next to a banner honoring her son, Justin Logie. He was 19 when he was shot and killed last year. Credit: Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times