A $75,000 reward is being offered for information on the murder of a Monrovia boy killed in 2016.
The child, 4-year-old Salvador Esparza III, was shot and killed while standing on a house porch on the 300 block of Figueroa Drive in Altadena on July 5, 2016, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Esparza was standing at the home’s front door when the unidentified shooter opened fire, striking him in the head, authorities said. He was found lying on the front porch with another gunshot victim, a 27-year-old man.
The boy was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. The 27-year-old man survived.
According to witnesses, the suspect was chasing the 27-year-old onto the Altadena property and shot at him, striking both victims.
An argument may have taken place with others inside the home before the deadly shooting, officials said. The killer approached the victims from Olive Street, fired at least 13 shots, ran down the street and fled in a dark-colored car, deputies said.
“LASD investigators believe the suspect to be a gang member, and the shooting is believed to be gang related,” authorities said. “LASD investigators also believe that Salvador and his family were not the intended target.”
The new $75,000 reward is being offered by Los Angeles County in a motion approved on Tuesday from Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The reward has increased over the years from an initial $20,000.
“Six years ago, little Salvador’s life was violently and tragically ended,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I am extending and increasing the reward amount because I have faith that there’s someone out there who can help bring justice for the Esparza family. Every bit of information helps, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Help us identify the perpetrator who robbed Salvador of his future and left an unfillable void in his family’s heart.”
“Little Chavita Esparza would have been 11 years old this year,” Pasadena Mayor Victor M. Gordo. “Instead, he was shot and killed when he was just 4 years old in July 2016. He has not been forgotten and we are appealing to the public, once again, to step up and provide needed information to help us solve the horrific killing of this innocent little boy.”
Esparza is survived by his parents and grandparents.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the LASD Sergeant Dominick Recchia at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be reported to the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.