SAN JOSE, Calif. - Family and friends say Uriel Mendiola Zepeda was energetic, and force constantly in motion.
“He was always a very happy kid. He loved to dance. I bought him so many mp3 players because he kept filling them with music,” said Emily Zepeda, the boy’s aunt and godmother.
Tragically, Wednesday, on his way home from getting pizza, the 15-year-old Zepeda became a crime statistic. He is one of eight people hit by gunfire so far this week on the streets of San Jose.
In addition to his murder July 15 on Senter Road, in which witnesses say two other people were hit, an adult man was shot in the 5800 block of Indian Avenue. Then late Thursday night a juvenile was shot in the 100 block of South 24th Street. Finally, early Friday morning, a triple shooting in the 2700 block of Kollmar Drive.
“It’s very sad that we still have these issues. It’s very sad that a young man’s life, any person’s life is taken. But It’s scary that San Jose is upside down right now,” said Elsa Lopez, founder of From the Streets to the Grave, Voices of Mothers. The support groups seeks out other people who have lost loved ones to street violence.
San Jose police sent an email statement to KTVU which reads, “There is no indication the shootings are connected. We don’t have new information to share at this time. The investigations are ongoing.”
“The detectives, they said they couldn’t tell me anything. That they’re trying their best. They said don’t think we’re just ignoring this. We’re trying to stop the crime,” said Zepeda.
While detectives hunt for clues and witnesses in all of the cases, the Zepeda family has set up a GoFundMe page, to help pay the expenses of getting Uriel’s body from the morgue, so that that can say a final goodbye to a light in their lives.