Family, friends, fans and peers of late Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman will gather this afternoon in Los Angeles to mourn the death of the musician and celebrate his life and legacy, but unfortunately there will also be members of the Westboro Baptist Church in attendance picketing the event. Taking a pre-emptive stance, Slayer has issued a statement concerning the church's attendance outside of the Palladium venue.

The Westboro Baptist Church has gained notoriety in recent years for picketing outside of highly public funerals and memorials, using the platform to spread their hateful messages. Loudwire purposely has not reported on their attendance, but now that Slayer has addressed the matter, we will offer their statement.

In their Facebook posting, the members of Slayer stated:

MESSAGE TO FANS:
Want to really piss off the Westboro Baptist Church at Jeff's Memorial Celebration? Do exactly what Slayer members and family are going to do - totally ignore them. They don't exist. And then come inside and celebrate Jeff's life with us.

The Los Angeles-based memorial celebration will take place this afternoon from 3:30-7:30 PT and is open to the public on a first-in basis. All ages are welcome and paid parking will be available at the venue and surrounding lots.

Hanneman passed away Aug. 2 at the age of 49 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He co-founded Slayer in 1981 and is responsible for some of metal's staples like 'Angel of Death,' 'Raining Blood,' 'South of Heaven' and 'War Ensemble.'