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Remembering Eric Catlapp: update No. 2

UPDATES 5/30: I’ve added yet another update at the end of this post — this one an elegant, reflective piece by poet Michael Medrano. Plus: Fresno police have interviewed more than 30 people and received more than 25 tips about the slaying but have not identified any suspects or made any arrests, The Bee’s Eddie Jimenez reports.

UPDATE 5/28: I’ve added a moving tribute to Eric Catlapp posted over the weekend by Bryan Harley on his Facebook page. For those who missed the news, several hundred people gathered Sunday evening to remember Catlapp.

ORIGINAL POST: Our thoughts at the Beehive are with the family, friends and colleagues of local filmmaker Eric Catlapp, 32, who died early this morning. The attack on him in the Tower District is one of those senseless acts of violence that has you reaching for something to steady yourself as you contemplate the randomness and brevity of life.

We’re also thinking  about the close-knit Tower District. Though not all the city’s cultural events take place there, there’s something special about the neighborhood — a vitality and creative spark — that makes it seem the cultural heart of Fresno. (I’ve always told people from all over Fresno they should treasure the Tower even if they don’t go there very often. Every vibrant bigger city needs the idea of a place like this. Without it, we’re just living in a big strip mall.) We have no doubt the Tower District will band together and overcome this brutal blow.

Tributes to Catlapp are being swapped all over local social media. Here’s an inspiring one posted on the Facebook page of the CMAC (Community Media Access Collaborative):

ericphoto

From the CMAC:

Today we learned that one of our kindest, most productive and helpful members, Eric Catlapp, passed away. Eric was so excited about video production that he recently purchased his own camera equipment and was seldom seen without at least one camera and often more. He was a fixture here at CMAC and could often be found hanging around talking with members about projects and new ideas.

Eric was always willing to help anyone who needed it and worked for hundreds of hours on his own and other members’ projects. He loved CMAC and was devoted to our mission and our members. We will miss him greatly.

And here’s a statement from Irma Olguin, current owner/operator of The Hashtag, via one of its founders, Travis Sheridan:

Dear Hashtag Family,

Early this morning Hashtag Member Eric Catlapp died at Community Regional Medical Center. It is believed that Eric was working at The Hashtag, left the facility and returned a short time later asking for help. The Fresno Bee is reporting that Eric was stabbed while outside of The Hashtag, and was later taken to CRMC after other members of The Hashtag called emergency personnel to the scene. As of this time the identity of the assailant, the motive, and the events that took place while Eric was outside of The Hashtag are unknown. At this point, we are all left with more questions than answers.We are saddened by this tragedy. We are angered by this violence. And, above all else, we are mourning the loss of a life.

The safety of our members is and will continue to be a priority. At no point during these events was the security of The Hashtag breached. In the coming days we will be working with neighboring businesses and the Tower District community to determine whether there is anything that we can be doing to improve safety in our neighborhood. The Hashtag is cooperating with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation.

As you know, The Hashtag closed today for the first time in its history. We intend to reopen later today or

Responses to "Remembering Eric Catlapp: update No. 2"

Travis Sheridan says:

Donald,
Very nice post. My heart breaks for Eric, his family and my community. While I did share the Hashtag post, I was not its author. It was originally posted to the Hashtag site by co-founder and current owner/operator, Irma Olguin, Jr. Irma is crazy about the community that’s developed around the Hashtag over the past two years and I want to make sure her vision is recognized.

Fresno broke my heart today. At the same time, I’ve been inspired and encouraged as I’ve seen people support one another during this tragedy.

Seeing Fresno love from St Louis.

Travis

Donald Munro says:

Thanks for the note, Travis. I’ve added Irma to the post to clarify. Hang in there.

Mike Rinaldi says:

Eric was generous with his time and talent and a genuine kind person. He was a great encourager who saw the best in everyone and drove us to reach our potential. Eric believed in you, not with mere hope or wishful thinking, but constant optimism and knowledge that you could achieve your goals. And if you might fall short trying, Eric would push you the rest of the way to victory.

The victory is now yours, Eric, for a life lived well. 32 years is not a lot of quantity, but you lived a better quality life than most people dare hope. Eric’s life isn’t measured in his achievements, it’s measured in our achievements. Because Eric invested in us and our dreams. His true achievement was making all of us better.

Luke 10:25-37

Debbie Goodman says:

Eric, You have no idea how much I will miss you. We only met a little over 6 months ago, but you were my “main man” on my crew at CMAC. You were on “speed dial” on my cell phone. Hardly a day when by when I wasn’t in contact with you somehow. You were my advisor/mentor, camera man, editor, director, etc. on the majority of my projects. I can’t believe someone would be so cruel to take your life from you, and you from our lives. It was just the other day you and I were talking about going to Las Vegas in December to cover a martial arts convention for my show. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you. Saying you will be missed is an understatement. I love and miss you, good buddy. Debbie Goodman

Bryan Harley says:

It’s hard to express how important Eric was to CMAC and how great of a friend he was. He was such an up-beat and enthusiastic guy who was involved in so many different video projects. Eric was always there to help someone in need. He had great plans for the future and it is incredibly sad that he won’t be able to see them through. An unfillable hole has been left at CMAC, in our community, and in the lives of everyone Eric met.

Ty (Rene Bugatti) Townsel says:

I’m still in shock that such a travesty could happen to such a sweet person. Although I only knew Eric for several months he’s made an impact on my heart and was a good friend. Eric was truly an artist and kindred spirit and will be missed!!

Trevor McKissick says:

I’ve known Eric since we were in the sixth grade, he and his family have changed my life in more ways than one. To think something like this could happen to such a great person is tragic to the point of disbelief. I haven’t seen Eric since the going away party we had for him before he ventured out to do what he loved. We all planned on seeing him at my bachelor party this June, he will be remembered and missed. Mike, Fran, Evan, family and friends – if you are reading this know that my family sends out our love, thoughts and prayers…

James Larkin says:

Hey, I’m an old friend. I’ve known Eric for about 10 years and he was a dear friend of mine. We worked together for a long time and went to police academy with each other. I haven’t spoken to him in a while and my heart was saddened when I heard the news of his passing. If you have any information on the funeral services I would really appreciate it. Eric was a good man and I’ll never forget him. Please email me with any information. Thank you so much and my heart goes out to him and his family.

James Larkin
just_me9089@yahoo.com