Two days after a 13-year-old Pasadena boy’s bedroom window was hit by a bullet and killed him while he was playing a video game, officials gathered outside the city hall to discuss the tragedy and the impact of the city. Emerging patterns of gun violence.
On Monday night, more than 100 people including residents, city leaders, police and family members gathered for a vigil to commemorate the boy Iran Moreno, a student who loves sports. And video games.
Deputy Commissioner Cheryl Moody said that in the past two years, the Pasadena Police Department has confiscated more than 700 guns, many of which were seized from vehicles, belts and homes based on search warrants. Of these, 250 have been seized since January 2021.
Moody said: “The threat of gun violence is a real danger, and the Pasadena Police Department is working hard to keep guns away from the streets and snatch them from those who intend to harm others.” The department will continue to commit to additional patrols and intelligence. Collect, “to combat this series of shooting incidents.”
“But we need your help,” she said. “We believe that people in the community and elsewhere may have information that may help stop the violence and bring the perpetrators to justice. We ask you to come forward.”
Police believe that a stray bullet hit Iran when he was in the bedroom at about 6 pm on Saturday afternoon. Family members said he managed to stumble out of the room, covering his wounds, and then fell.
Iran was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
For two days, the Pasadena police have been trying to find evidence or information that could lead to the shooter.
Investigators do not believe Iran or his family are the targets.
“This is not the intended victim,” Moody said. “This is not the intended residence. We don’t know who they shot at or why.”
On Monday afternoon, the 27-year-old Iranian cousin Maria Balvaneda stood in front of dozens of flickering candles with her hands clasped, which formed more and more monuments to the boy.
Barvaneda lives in the back room of the same property with Iran and his parents.
She told The Times that on the night of the shooting, she heard two firecrackers, which she thought were fireworks. When her mother noticed the flash, she was about to go out to a family party with her parents.
She walked out the door and saw her aunt and uncle standing next to a tree. They told her that Iran was shot and was on the way to the hospital. She tried to comfort them, but her uncle was particularly shaken.
“My son died in my arms,” she recalled her uncle. “I know he is gone.”
Barvaneda said that Iran’s parents and siblings were struggling with the loss on Monday. Her uncle has never wanted to eat, nor can he get up by himself.
“They kept crying and he asked his son to bring his child back,” she said. “It’s so heartbreaking.”
She said that Iran “has a bright future in front of him.” He likes basketball and football and performed well in school.
She regrets the violence: “There are always shootings, there are always gang violence. They are always hurting the most innocent people.”
Mayor Victor Gordo delivered a speech outside the city hall on Monday, promising to “do things differently.”
“We cannot continue to take the same approach to public safety in this city or the area and expect different results,” Godot said.
The mayor said that officials recently called on the police department to strengthen law enforcement and increase the number of street police officers.
“I again ask the Pasadena Police Department to better and more thoroughly involve individuals involved in gang activities and criminal activities throughout the city,” he said. “It must start now. We cannot wait for another child or another member of this community to be harmed.”
City councillor Jessica Rivas (Jessica Rivas) has been affected by multiple shootings in the area, and she said: “We can’t get rid of this situation.”
“This is a bigger problem, and one that we have to solve,” Rivas said.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.