Actor Frank Grillo Slams Rising Crime in Los Angeles After Boxer Friend Is Killed

by Samantha Whidden

Following the murder of his boxing trainer Azuma Bennett, Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Frank Grillo slams the rising crime that is occurring in Los Angeles.  

According to TMZ, alum of the TV show Billions Frank Grillo spoke about the death of Bennett during an interview at Fortune Boxing Gym in Hollywood earlier this week. “He made everybody feel good about training. I don’t know what’s happened in Los Angeles that a beautiful guy like this gets shot and killed over nothing.”

Los Angeles authorities reported that Bennett passed away while en route to the hospital after he was hit with at least eight bullets. The incident happened outside a marijuana dispensary in Windsor Hills earlier this month. Although detectives are still searching for the suspect, there has yet to be any motive revealed. However, a video was taken by a bystander after the shooting.

Along with Frank Grillo, other celebrities have worked with Bennett over the years. This includes UFC fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Musicians  Kiana Ledé and Eddie Benjamin were also clients. A GoFundMe campaign has been established for Bennett’s family. Originally seeking $15,000, the campaign has already raised more than $39,000. 

Tamara Fortune, the Fortune Boxing Gym owner, created the campaign. “Azuma was one of a kind,” she wrote. “An outstanding athlete, fighter, teacher trainer, and friend/mate to so many. We lost one of the best ones out there. He did not deserve this. He was kind to all that he met and always engaged everybody in the gym with his positive energy and engaging personality. Rest easy Azuma and keep punching up there. We love you mate.”

Los Angeles Sees The Highest Level of Homicides in 15 Years 

ABC7 reports that the murder of Frank Grillo’s boxing trainer comes as homicides in Los Angeles reach the highest level in 15 years. In the first half of 2022, the City of Angels saw more than 180 murders. This is a 34% increase from the average number of homicides during the same time period between 2015 and 2019. 

Speaking about the homicide increases, Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz with the Los Angeles Police Protective League tells the media outlet, “181 murder victims. We’re on pace for a 15 year high. This is very, very scary for our city and it’s scary for the resident that we are supposed to protect.”

Los Angeles Police Department’s latest data also reportedly shows about 23% of the homicide victims were categorized as unhoused.This is about the same rate akin 2021. It is also slightly more than the share from 2019 and 2020. When about 16% and 19% of homicide victims were recorded as homeless. Meanwhile, of the homicide victims in the first half of 2022, most of them – 158 – were male. More than three-quarters of the homicides in 2022 so far involved a firearm.