TULARE COUNTY – Family members of a slain teenager are reaching out to the public for any information that might lead to the arrest of those responsible for his murder.
Family and friends gathered at a funeral on Tuesday for 16-year-old Martin Lopez, who was killed more than a week ago at a party in Orosi.
The incident happened on July 29 just after midnight. Detectives were in the area when they heard shots fired around the 12700 block of Ira Street in Orosi. While on their way to check the area, reports came in of a gun shot victim at that location, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. When detectives arrived on the scene, they found a party breaking up.
“People were dispersing from the party and we did locate the victim with apparent gun shot wounds,” said Chris Douglass with the sheriff’s office. Lopez was airlifted to a local hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
During the investigation, detectives learned that a group of apparent gang members had been at the party, had confronted the victim and then shot him. However, authorities do not yet have any suspects in the murder.
Detectives are having a hard time finding witnesses despite so many people having been at the party at the time of the shooting. They believe people are afraid to come forward with what they know. Lopez’ family asked anyone who has information on the case to come forward so they can have justice for the teenager.
“It’s really painful losing a brother,” said Monica Lopez, older sister to Martin Lopez, who asked those who know something about the case to put themselves in her shoes. “It could happen to them, to their kids or someone related to them. Whoever knows something, I hope goes to the Sheriff.”
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