Hundreds Gather at City Hall, Pay Tribute to Victim

Hundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClintonHundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClintonHundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClintonHundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClintonHundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClintonHundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClintonHundred gather at City Hall, pay tribute to Victor McClinton

By GENE JOHNSON | Photography by JAMES MACPHERSON

9:12 pm | December 27, 2012


[Updated Fri., Dec. 28, 2012 | 6:05 a.m.]  On the steps of City Hall more than 400 people weathered chilling temperatures Thursday night to attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Victor McClinton, a community activist who was killed during a drive-by shooting near his home on Christmas morning.

The somber crowd was filled with children of all ages as well as parents, civic officials, neighbors and friends of McClinton, who was active in mentoring and coach thousands of local youths during his life.

McClinton’s wife and two children, still distraught over his death, did not attend the vigil.

Jim Adams, an official with the Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League and a friend of McClinton, told the gathering “The purpose of this gathering is to allow our community to come to grips with the fact that an angel was taken from us and to reveal just how special to all the world, Victor McClinton is to us.”

Speakers included Danny Bakewell Jr., founder of The Bakewell Company, one of the largest and oldest privately owned African American real estate development and media companies in the United States, who had been a life-long friend of McClinton.

“Tonight we are here not to mourn the loss of Victor,  but to celebrate his life. To celebrate the work that he dedicated his life to and the thousands of families and children that he touched,” Bakewell said.

His father, Danny Bakewell Sr., was seen in the crowd as well.

Pasadena Chief of Police Chief Phillip Sanchez also spoke at the vigil, which was near City Hall rotunda, under the glare of television lights.

“We are blessed to know Victor,” Sanchez said. “We are blessed that he was part of our community. And if you want to continue to revere Victor and his family, then live your life to the fullest everyday. Teach your children and encourage them to do well, academically, physically and in sports. Teach them courage, teach morality, teach tolerance so that our young children learn from the adults. Because it gives me hope to reduce violence. And we have to change our environment so that our young people can flourish and hope and aspire for the same things that you did not so long ago.”

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard was out of the city but sent a statement of condolence.

Observers there said the vigil was an opportunity to honor the memory and message of McClinton who had been a sheriff’s employee and a neighborhood athletics coach. The candlelight vigil was put on by the Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore hailed McClinton as an “exemplary employee.”

McClinton, 49, is survived by his wife and two young adult sons.