Hundreds of people have been shot and killed in the industrial corridors of Wilmington, California.

By Adam Mahoney, Grist

For Daniel Delgado, the Fourth of July marked a turning point in 2020. It was the first holiday after COVID-19 had kept much of America locked down. In nine days, he’d be entering his 20s. He planned to spend his birthday relishing the Arizona sun with friends, but in the meantime, the holiday offered him an opportunity to be celebrated by family and friends, surrounded by love and human connection — things that had been hard to come by that year.

He spent the day at his aunt’s home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington, California. His parents, Sonia Banales and Roberto Delgado, and his large extended family remember laughing, grilling ribs, and setting off fireworks.

Marathon oil refinery, Los Angeles. Petroleum, chemicals and gasoline factory. American flag and smokestacks of industrial petrochemicals plant, Wilmington ave.

Shortly after midnight, as the celebration died down, Delgado left the house to drive a few friends home. He never made it back.

At about 2 a.m., Delgado was shot and killed in the only place he ever called home, a small corner of Los Angeles tucked between the largest port in North America and the largest oil refinery in California. He was one of at least 160 people in the U.S. who lost their lives to gun violence that weekend. The exceptional deadliness of Independence Day weekend is one of the few American norms that the pandemic did not disrupt.

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