A South Valley family is begging for justice after 16-year-old Martin Lopez was shot down at a party. It happened in Cutler on Sunday, July 29th, just after midnight. His family is pleading for witnesses to come forward.
A grieving family holds hands Tuesday afternoon. On the same day Lopez is laid to rest, his family asks for answers.
"He's my brother. He's just a year younger than me. We grew up together," said Monica Lopez.
The Tulare County Sheriff's Department says Lopez was shot at a large party. Gangs may be involved. Deputies were patrolling close by and heard the gun shots. But when they got to the party, people were scattering. Now they're having a hard time tracking down witnesses who will talk about what they saw.
Lopez was flown to the hospital, but died on the way. His sister says he was nicknamed "Stutters" for how he spoke. He was on track to graduate a year early from Orosi High School and hoped to attend art school. She knew her brother was going to a party that night, but never expected the worst to happen, even though she knows the dangers and stays far from those gatherings.
"I don't really like parties, especially around where I live cause of those things, gangs," said Lopez.
Investigators believe several witnesses have information, but are afraid to come forward. Lopez begs those people to put themselves in her shoes.
"They're probably like 'whatever,' but it could happen to them, to their kids or someone related to them," said Lopez.
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