Salvador Esparza III, 4
Salvador Esparza III, a Latino 4-year-old, died Wednesday, July 6, after he was shot in the 300 block of Figueroa Drive in Altadena, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
About 10:30 p.m. on July 5, Salvador had just stepped onto the front porch of a home his family was visiting when he was wounded along with a 27-year-old man, Lt. John Corina with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Deputies were flagged down after the shooting and led to the home, according to a news release from the department.
Salvador, who lived in Monrovia, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:19 a.m. the next morning, according to coroner’s records.
About two hours earlier, one or two people got into an argument with another man, Corina said. The argument spilled into the street and people had to be separated.
Investigators believe the gunman, who may live in the neighborhood, came back in a dark-colored sedan, jumped out and fired at least 13 shots. One of the intended targets may have been the boyfriend of Salvador’s mother, who was sitting on the front porch.
The boy’s mother is "very upset," Corina said. “Her 4-year-old son just got killed.”
Maria Elias, a cousin of the boy's father, also lives in the neighborhood. She said the area is safe and she often lets her children play outside.
Salvador, she said, was also known as "Chavita.” Others said the child climbed the trees in the home’s frontyard and liked to play soccer.
"It's not fair," Elias said. "It's one little boy."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.