NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A vigil was held Friday night to honor the life of a food service delivery worker gunned down at the end of his shift.
As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported, drivers say the attacks are not uncommon.READ MORE: Suffolk County Police Officer In Critical Condition After Being Stabbed By Suspect Following Crash
Lucas Villalva’s pain could be felt in any language.
His brother, Francisco Villalva Vitinio, was shot to death at the Poor Richard’s Playground in East Harlem just after 11 p.m. on Monday. Family said the 29-year-old had just ended his shift with food delivery service DoorDash when he was gunned down as someone tried to steal his electric bike.
“They killed my brother like a dog and at this point I only feel a lot of pain,” Lucas Villalva said through an interpreter.
Ligia Guallpa, from Workers Justice Project, provided the translation and was among those who helped organize the vigil at the same place where Villalva Vitinio lost his life.
More than 100 people gathered. Most were fellow delivery workers. Some knelt in front of a makeshift memorial, while others brought flowers. Together, they said prayers to honor the victim’s life.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In New York: Nearly 25% Of New York Residents Now Fully Vaccinated, Cuomo Says
“We’re in fear. We don’t know if we could be next,” Lucas Villalva said.
During the coronavirus pandemic, food service delivery workers have formed coalitions, banding together to demand more protections. And they say this killing shows just how vulnerable they are.
Despite being deemed essential, they say they’re targets. Many are migrant workers who are paid low wages and work in dangerous conditions, while keeping the city going.
“I want people to see not only what we have to go through to do this hard, but for people to start valuing and respecting our labor,” said Edvin Escalante of Los Deliveristas Unidos.
In the worst of times they lean on each other, hoping for justice.
Villalva Vitinio worked to help his family back in Mexico. He used to deliver for a restaurant, and when he was laid off he turned to the apps.MORE NEWS: 12-Year-Old Shot In Brooklyn Remains Hospitalized, Police Searching For Gunman
No arrests have been made in his killing.