Christopher John Paul not only didn't bother anyone, he hardly ever spoke to anyone. He rarely even looked at anyone, quietly going about his routine of walking to the 7-Eleven on Overland and Palms then returning to the apartment complex two blocks away where he lived alone. But, residents of this Palms neighborhood knew "the quiet man" and they are dumbfounded why someone would shoot the 33-year-old to death as he stood in a carport off an alley Wednesday afternoon.
"Who would want to kill the quiet man?" said Ismile Nuru, the manager of the 7-Eleven who clutched his heart when he spoke of Paul. "I never knew his name, but he would come here two, three times a day. Get coffee, orange juice. He never talked and if there was a line, he would stand off to the side and wait for the line to go away. it's terrible they would kill him."
Police were also baffled by the killing of Paul who was shot at approximately 2:30 p.m.,in the alley just north of Woodbine Street, two blocks away from Woodbine Park where there was another killing last week..
"This guy was a true victim," said Det. Thomas Small of LAPD's West Bureau Homicide. "He didn't do anything to remotely provoke this."
A blue truck was observed leaving the area immediately after the shooting.
Paul's family in Michigan were "completely devastated" by the news of his shooting death. Paul had come to California about seven years ago seeking employment. In his apartment unit on the 3300 block of Mentone Avenue a job application indicated he was available for work Monday to Saturday.
"That's because he didn't want to work on Sundays he went to church," said Small. "The people he wetn to church with said he was a very nice and very quiet man."
The shooting death of Paul was particularly worrisome for Palms residents because last week a series of gang-related shootings left Justin Aquilar, 27, dead and four others wounded. James Pickens, 35, was arrested last Friday in connection with the shootings.
Since 2010 - not counting the two in the last week - there have been three homicides in Palms, according to the L.A. Times Homicide Report.
"I've been around here since 1968 and it's never been like this around here," said Matthew Domeno, owner of the 7-Eleven franchise on Overland. "This place right here is like a small town corner store."
Anyone with information about either killing is urged to contact West Bureau Homicide detectives Carranza or Small at (210 382-9470