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By Randy Economy
Los Angeles: A $50,000 reward has been offered to find the person responsible for the murder of 78-year-old Joseph Gatto who was an iconic figure in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles for generations and the father of a popular California state lawmaker.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who is the son of the slain victim, was joined by his two sisters and a nephew along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to announce the establishment of the reward.
Two months ago, on November 13, 2013, the body of Joseph Anthony Gatto was discovered in his Silver Lake home located in a quiet upscale enclave on the 2800 block of Bright Lane.
Beck told reporters the investigation has determined that Gatto died as the result of a single gunshot wound and that his death occurred approximately 24 hours before he was discovered by family members at his residence.
The Los Angeles Police Department released the sketch of a male white between 18 -25 years of age who was involved in a burglary from motor vehicle and the assault with a deadly weapon on the same date as Mr. Gatto’ s murder, in an area near Mr. Gatto’s residence. Beck stressed at the press conference that Detectives would like to speak with him regarding any knowledge he might have about Joseph Gatto’s death.
“We want to find this man and to talk to him directly,” Beck said.
Beck and Garcetti stressed that Robbery Homicide Detectives are directly reaching out to the media and to members of the community for their assistance in the case.
“Someone out there knows who did this and we need to seek the community’s assistance in gaining any information that may lead to the identity of the person or persons responsible for Mr. Gatto’s death,” Beck said,
Garcetti said, “I will not rest till we find the killer of Joseph Gatto, period.”
Assemblyman Gatto was visible moved at the press conference announcing the reward.
“My father was loved and my family will never be whole again. This has been a nightmare and all we want is justice and to find the person who did this,” Gatto said.
Councilman Tom Labonge, who represents Silverlake on the LA City Council said that “in the City of Angels there is a Devil out there who needs to be found and brought to justice.”
Anyone with information about this incident should contact LAPD Robbery Homicide Detectives Barry Telis or Chris Gable at (213) 486-5910. During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637
(C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org. and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”
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