A shocking crime and an innocent victim: Joseph Gatto, a 78-year-old man who by all accounts was beloved and respected, was gunned down in his Silver Lake home this week. His home in the hilly community had been ransacked.
One of his daughters, Marianna, found her father slumped over a desk on Wednesday night, an evening they customarily set aside to share dinner. Because she hadn't heard from Joseph all day, Marianna went to his house and came across the horrible scene.
Joseph Gatto's son, our state Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake), remained understandably stunned as the news broke across the Southland the following day. On Friday, an autopsy report confirmed the senior Gatto, a man one wouldn't imagine as a likely target for violence, had died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The death of this good and honest man, the patriarch of a dynamic family, is yet another sobering reminder that our personal worlds, no matter how well-ordered they might seem, can be turned upside down in an instant.
We offer our sincere condolences to the Gatto family and to all the many others who knew and admired Joseph Gatto during his lifetime. It's difficult to fathom that an arrest of his killer will ease their aching hearts, but we hope people who might have some knowledge of the incident, or any helpful clues to offer, will contact the Los Angeles Police Department and that the crime is solved swiftly.