LONG BEACH - The family of a 50-year-old Long Beach man who was gunned down outside a liquor store in July pleaded Thursday for the public's help in finding his killer or killers. | PHOTOS
Seaborn Mason's brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews gathered with Long Beach Police Department homicide detectives to canvass the North Long Beach neighborhood where Mason was killed last summer, handing out fliers to potential witnesses and talking to anyone they could find.
"We want people to know ... this is not just an isolated incident, it has touched all of our lives," said Mason's brother, David Thomas.
Long Beach Police Department Homicide Sgt. Erik Herzog said the department has had a high rate of success with solving homicides this year, except for this one case.
Mason was shot near the corner of South Street and Linden Avenue, near a liquor store he often visited.
Surveillance cameras located just outside the shop show there were several people in the area at the time shots rang out, but only a few witnesses have come forward, Herzog said.
"The video shows two female blacks that were walking in the area, and one male Hispanic running away," Herzog said. "We're not comfortable releasing the video just because we aren't sure if they are suspects or witnesses.
The neighborhood where the crime occurred is extremely diverse and has had problems with gang crimes and other issues in the past. Fear seems to be the primary reason for the lack of cooperation, the lieutenant said.
When asked if the shooting could have been gang-related, Herzog said, "I can't rule it in and I can't rule it out."
Mason's family said they know no reason why anyone would want to hurt the 50-year-old, who didn't have children of his own but who was close to his siblings and his nieces and nephews.
"I remember playing with him and my cousins at my grandma's," said Mason's 8-year-old great-niece, Tyler Dennis. "I miss my uncle."
She joined her family as they walked with police and members of the Long Beach Explorers and Long Beach Search and Rescue, knocking on doors and talking to residents about the case. One of Mason's nephews said at least one resident recalled hearing shots the night his uncle was killed followed by laughter and the sound of footsteps running away.
"We're just out here to ask the community to come forward and to cooperate with police," Thomas said. "If you heard or saw something, it doesn't matter how insignificant it may seem to you, please contact the police. We would like to see the person responsible brought to justice."
Anyone with information is urged to call Detectives Malcolm Evans and Todd Johnson at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477) or at