It's been a rough day for Monica Lopez and her family. Her younger brother, 16-year-old Martin Lopez was laid to rest, Tuesday. Shortly after his funeral, the family spoke out at a press conference in hopes of getting answers.
“It's really painful, especially losing a brother. There's no way you could replace him. So I just hope whoever knows something, to call the sheriff's office,” said Lopez.
Tulare County Sheriff's detectives say last Sunday, Lopez was at a party in Orosi, when a group of apparent gang members confronted him and shot him.
“Once we got to the area we noticed that there was a party being broken up, and people were disbursing from that party and we did locate the victim there with apparent gunshot wounds,” said Sgt. Chris Douglass.
Lopez was air lifted to the hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. No arrests have been made. Detectives are asking anyone with information to come forward. In the meantime, the Lopez family grieves. Monica Lopez recalls the night her brother had been shot.
“That was painful because we wanted to know, is it my brother or not? That was painful,” said Lopez.
She says he had dreams of attending the Art Institute in San Francisco after high school.
“He was recently happy because he was going to finish school early. He was going to be a senior but of course that can't happen because of this,” said Lopez.
His family called him "Stutters" because he stuttered a lot. They say he also loved to play soccer. Despite the pain, Lopez says her family doesn't seek revenge. They want justice.
“I can't say I want this to happen to whoever shot him. No, because it's painful,” said Lopez.
If you have any information on this homicide, you're asked to call or text 1-800-TIP-NOW. You can also send anonymous information by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.