Loved ones are mourning a teenager who was shot and killed at a San Pedro birthday party as the suspects remain at large.
On Sept. 30, police responded to a shooting on the 1200 block of North Park Western Drive around 11:34 p.m.
Arriving officers found four victims with gunshot wounds, including Joseph Isaiah Saldana, 17. Saldana was pronounced dead at the scene. The bullets had gone through the home’s walls and struck the teenage victims.
The armed suspects fled the scene in a gray sedan, police said.
Saldana had just graduated from Dominguez High School with honors a few months ago and was preparing to start college and work his first job.
“He was looking to become an engineer,” said Joey Ortega, Saldana’s cousin. “He was getting ready to enjoy life. It’s a tragedy that his life was cut short.”
Ortega said Saldana was celebrating a friend’s birthday party that night when he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
So far, police haven’t released many details on the incident and no arrests have been made. It’s unclear what led up to the deadly shooting. No suspect descriptions have been released.
For now, friends and family are devastated as they honor Saldana and remember the joy he brought into their lives.
“Just to remember him as the good kid that he was,” Ortega said. “He always had a smile on his face. He’d walk into the room, his whole vibe would bring positive energy to the whole room.”
Saldana leaves behind his parents, three siblings and many close relatives. They are pleading for justice and for the suspects responsible to be arrested.
“Just help my family get some closure,” Ortega said. “Let’s bring these guys to justice. My little cousin didn’t deserve to die like this.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Saldana’s family with funeral expenses.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD at 1-877-527-3247.