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Fernando Jose Basurto Jr., 18

Fernando Jose Basurto Jr., an 18-year-old Latino, was shot and killed on Thursday, May 19, in the 18400 block of Desidia Street in Rowland Heights, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Basurto, a senior at Walnut High School, was visiting two school friends, who are brothers, at the apartment complex where they lived about 11:30 p.m., said Los Angeles County Lt. Eddie Hernandez. 

Two Latinos in their early 20s approached and confronted the young men, Hernandez said. One man pulled out a handgun and demanded to know their gang affiliation, he said. 

“The two brothers that live there say they’re not from any gang, and the victim never says anything,” Hernandez said. “So the suspect asks a second time, and they deny it a second time.”

At some point, the gunman turned, Hernandez said, “and at that point, one of the brothers sees an opportunity to defend himself and starts punching the suspect. It was very courageous, actually.”

The other brother began punching the second man, Hernandez said, “so we have the two brothers involved a fistfight with the suspects, one armed and one unarmed, and the victim is just standing there.”

Hernandez said the gunman was able to get away from the brother who was hitting him and then fired a shot that struck Basurto, Hernandez said. 

Basurto was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:40 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head, according to coroner's records.  The brothers were not injured. 

The assailants were last seen running east in the alley. 

Basurto lived in West Covina. He died a week before his high school graduation on May 26. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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