Travione Rashad Mason, 26
Travione “Tray” Rashad Mason, a 26-year-old black man, was shot and killed Saturday, July 11, in the 11100 block of South Berendo Avenue in Westmont, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to a residence after receiving calls about a gunshot victim and a loud party, Lt. Steve Jauch said.
When deputies arrived about 11 p.m., they discovered three men had been shot. One of the injured, a 55-year-old man, was hosting a birthday party at his house, Jauch said. He was grazed by a bullet and refused treatment.
Mason, an employee of the catering company working at the party, was shot in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene at 11:09 p.m., according to coroner’s records.
Another employee of the catering company was shot in the hand and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released, Jauch said.
The men were shot while they were in the backyard, Jauch said, but investigators don’t have a description of the shooter.
“We do not believe the suspect was a partygoer,” Jauch said, “but he opened fire at a large party and unfortunately three people were shot. We don’t know the reason or motivation. We assume it’s a male, because most of our suspects are men, but even that is unverified.”
Keith Garrett, owner of the allflavornogrease taco stand and catering business in Watts, said Mason had been working for him about four months as a sous chef, preparing their pico de gallo and other fresh ingredients.
“The only thing I can say about Tray is that he loved to cook and take care of his kids,” Garrett said.
“I’ve known him since he was 6. We lost touch for a few years, but he came to me earlier this year and said, ‘I’m ready to change my life.’ He had two kids, with another on the way, and he was very family oriented. He said, ‘I believe in this all flavor, no grease movement and I want to help. Help me help my kids.’”
Garrett said Mason was helping him save up to buy a taco truck so they could expand the business.
“He was a very loving and helping young man. All he wanted to do was help, help, help," Garrett said. "He wanted to make things better and make people smile. He didn’t have any argument with nobody. ... He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.