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WOODLAND HILLS : Vigil to Be Held for Slain Student

Two years ago Friday, 15-year-old Taft High School student LaMoun Thames was fatally stabbed while waiting for a bus that would return him from football practice to his South-Central Los Angeles home.

As a memorial to LaMoun, Woodland Hills resident Suzanne Lewis, whose daughter will be a senior at Taft, is coordinating a candlelight peace vigil at the Ralphs market parking lot at Ventura Boulevard and Winnetka Avenue--the location of the murder--on Saturday at 8 p.m.

“My daughter would have graduated with him this year,” said Lewis, who anticipates hundreds will attend the vigil.

“It’s all too close for me,” said Lewis.

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Lewis said she was struck by the irony that LaMoun’s parents had sent him to a high school in Woodland Hills because they thought he would be safer away from South-Central.

Lewis anticipates hundreds will attend the vigil.

Among those in attendance will be actor Tony Danza, who has given $1,000 to Lewis to start a college scholarship fund for Taft students.

In May, two reputed gang members, Oscar Andres Lopez and a 17-year-old youth, were charged with murder after a confidential informant overheard them bragging about stabbing LaMoun. They are awaiting trial.

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Lewis arranged a candlelight vigil just after the stabbing took place, but wanted another one to remind the community on the second anniversary of the boy’s death.

“I just don’t want LaMoun to be forgotten,” Lewis said.

For information about the vigil, call (818) 705-1505.


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