A vigil was held Monday for an 18-year-old man gunned down in East San Jose. George Kiriyama reports.
With tears streaming down their faces on Monday night, the family of 18-year old Pedro Cortez poured their hearts out at a candlelight vigil at Capitol Park in San Jose.
"He leaves us with his pain to live with every day," said Lizette Dado, Cortez's aunt, as she cried in front of dozens of family and friends. "It's so hard. I don't want to put this pain upon anyone. It's so dang hard."
His family is trying to figure out who gunned down Cortez on Saturday as he walked with his friends near Capitol Park on Van Winkle Lane. They say a car came up and as it was driving by someone shot at the young men and one of the bullets pierced Cortez's chest.
"I want to bear with the pain. But, I also need to think about his funeral and arranging and I'm trying to stay strong for my family," Dado said.
Elsa Lopez knows the pain all too well. Her son Anthony Santa Cruz was stabbed to death near San Jose High School in February. He was the city's fifth homicide of 2013. She says her heart sank when she heard Cortez became homicide number 44.
"I know what the mother's going through," Elsa Lopez said, fighting back the tears. "It was hard for me. It was very hard for me. I started getting emotional cause I couldn't...I see that mother and I see when they told me about my son."
Cortez's family says Pedro was not a gangmember.
They described him as an 18-year-old man, legally blind since he was 13, and someone who enjoyed working with his stepfather at a moving company.
His family is trying to raise funds to pay for his funeral.
People pitched in what they could Monday night, but the family says they still have a long way to go.