WILMINGTON, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A slain father, husband and community volunteer was honored Tuesday at a National Night Out event in Wilmington.
The event kicked off with a parade of first responders in patrol vehicles, on motorcycles and in fire trucks. Neighbors and friends cheered them on, thanking them for their service, which is the theme of this year's National Night Out program.
Asked if he felt safe with emergency responders around, 10-year-old Oscar Rosales said, "Yes." Why? "Because if anything bad happens, they're close to us to help."
National Night Out aims to keep the community safe by building trust and relationships between first responders and the neighborhoods they serve.
Jackie Lopez brought her 2-year-old son, Andy, to Tuesday's event.
"We can have fun," she said. "We can get know them. And the kids, they get to see them as real people."
The crime-prevention party comes just as local residents grieve the loss of Jose Quezada, a pillar in the South Los Angeles neighborhood.
"That gentleman was part of the heartbeat of our community," said Cecilia Moreno, a National Night Out event organizer.
Last week, Quezada was gunned down while volunteering at a community safety event in Wilmington. The husband and father of three was 46.
"That is not acceptable," Moreno said. "We cannot allow that to bring fear in us.
"It's tragic, what happened, but we cannot let that define us," she said. "We need to -- more than ever -- come together and do events like this."
Quezada, a resident of Carson, was shot and killed while he was volunteering at a violence-prevention event. He working at the "Summer Night Lights" event when he was killed just a few yards away from the recreation center where the event was being held, Los Angeles police said.
Police said he had no criminal history or gang ties and was a pillar of the community.
No arrest has been made in connection with the homicide, which remains under investigation.