On Friday evening, Jan. 6, more than 100 family, friends, students and co-workers gathered at Noble Creek Park in Beaumont for a candlelight vigil for Korey Slaughter, a Boys and Girls Club employee who was killed in a Los Angeles shooting on Dec. 28.
Slaughter, who was 23, was one of two people shot when multiple suspects shot up a Pizza Hut and neighboring businesses at Avalon Boulevard and Imperial Highway in South Los Angeles at about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 28. (The second victim, a woman, was hospitalized.)
Slaughter graduated from Beaumont High School and had worked at the Beaumont Unified School District as campus security until a few months ago. He was most recently working for Boys and Girls Clubs of San Gorgonio for its programs at Nicolet Middle School in Banning.
The vigil was held to show support for Slaughter’s mother, Kristina Washington, and to provide his local friends and students an opportunity to grieve and say their goodbyes.
According to friends and co-workers, Slaughter’s passion and caring for the students resulted in a community impact greater than would be expected of someone as young as he.
“He always had a smile on his face and a positive outlook,” said Cynthia Fernandez, who worked with Slaughter for three years at Mountain View Middle School. “He loved working with kids and was like the campus big brother. He could see when kids were not okay and always tried to help them through it."
Susan Smithson, who also worked with Slaughter in the Beaumont Unified School District, said his connections with the students made him a campus celebrity, as did his dance competitions with the students.
“The kids gravitated toward him because he made everyone feel special. He never put anyone down,” Smithson said. “He was really committed to the kids and he went above and beyond and was a friend to everyone.”
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