The young man who was gunned down outside the Double Dutch bar on June 9 wasn’t supposed to be out that night, one of his best friends said.
Lorenzo Jimenez usually worked the night shift. That day, however, he worked a friend’s early shift to help out, and decided to go have drinks with friends after work.
As Jimenez left the Double Dutch, multiple suspects approached him and asked him about his gang affiliation. Although he told them he had none, they shot him.
By coincidence, Jimenez’ best friend, Joey Myers, who helped him get a job as a doorman at a North Beach strip club, had worked the day shift, too.
“I was really blessed to have spent the whole day with him. It was just like old times. I was walking outside, we’d have a two- to three-minute conversation, I’d go back in, do my job,” Myers said.
Growing up in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood of Sacramento, Jimenez was often mistaken for a Norteño gang member, Myers said.
At work, Jimenez was in his element.
“He was an amazing doorman,” said Myers. “Lorenzo saw it as a challenge.”
Once Jimenez donned the slacks, suspenders and tie he wore on the job, no one could see his dozen tattoos — two of which were on the back of his hands, forcing him to greet guests with his palms up, Myers said.
“He was so aware of how he was presenting himself.”
“He’d talk to the upper-class people,” Myers added. “He’d get the business guys in there. He was very proud of the fact he was then on their level. They saw him as an equal.”
As a child, Jimenez was quiet, Myers said.
“When Lorenzo was a kid, he was kind of socially awkward, he didn’t know who he was. He just didn’t like being big. He wasn’t confident. He walked with a kind of slouch.”
Jimenez wasn’t very interested in schoolwork and would pay Myers to do his math homework, his friend remembered.
Once, Myers’s mother caught them and asked what they were doing.
“It’s OK, mama, I’m just paying Joey to do my homework!” Jimenez told her.
“I got grounded, and he got sent home,” Myers recalled.
Slowly Jimenez came out of his shell, and by high school he had found what he was good at: talking to people.
“He was always on his phone!” Myers remembered. In recent years, “Instagram, Facebook, texting … it was always social networking. Always.”
“In high school, he was voted the biggest flirt, and most likely to [be seen] in the hallways. The only reason he didn’t officially get those titles was that he was skipping school on the day they were shooting pictures for the yearbook,” Myers said.
Jimenez’ popularity was obvious.
“With only being 24, he had hundreds of people at his funeral. That’s crazy,” said Myers.
Jimenez would step in for his friend, who was shy, Myers said. “He was my voice, in social situations.”
Myers is now trying to cope with the loss of a friend who was so close that he considered him his brother.
The day after Jimenez was shot, Myers and his brother Vinny were on their way home from San Francisco General Hospital. The family had taken Jimenez off life support that morning.
The brothers started talking about their friend’s tattoos, especially two on his hands that read “The Game is Thick,” the title of a Mac Dre rap album.
“We listened to that a lot as kids, because finally that general area where we had come from had a music genre that we could be proud of,” Myers said.
That day in the car, Joe Myers turned to his brother and said, “So when are you getting ‘The Game Is Thick’ tattooed on you?”
The thought had already occurred to his brother and many of Jimenez’ relatives.
Joey Myers said he’d get it on his chest, “near the heart.”
Vinny Myers plans to get “The Game” tattooed on the inside of his left arm, and “Is Thick” on the inside of his right arm, so that the words come together when he gives people hugs.
“That’s because Lorenzo was huge on giving hugs,” Myers said.
So sorry for your loss. Lorenzo sounds like he was a wonderful young man. It is imperative that we get the gangs out of San Francisco. Young men are being shot for being latino – unacceptable.
Can anyone explain why he was “often mistaken for a Norteño gang member?” Is it a particular tat or a resemblance to a particular person or what?