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Vigil held to honor 14-year-old murdered in Mount Hope

Vigil held to honor 14-year-old murdered in Mount Hope.jpg
Posted at 10:16 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-06 01:16:36-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — A prayer united the dozens mourning fourteen-year-old Erick Belenzar Loeza at a vigil Saturday night in Mount Hope.

“We want justice and we want to make sure no other family goes through this,” said Belenzar Loeza.

His aunt Emir Belenzar Loeza shared the pain that the family feels after the teenager was killed Monday where the vigil was held.

San Diego Police said the teenager was with a group of people when an SUV full of young men opened fire striking Erick.

"This mother will never be able to hug her son anymore and they have to understand her pain,” said Belenzar Loeza.

Five young men between the ages of seventeen and nineteen are facing charges in connection with the violent shooting.

The three adult suspects— were already arraigned in court Thursday and plead not guilty to murder charges with a gun and gang allegations.

"Maybe the family of the people who did this think this is not fair that they’re in jail — that maybe he was in gangs or maybe he was fighting — whatever the reason was— it was not enough for him to die," said Belenzar Loeza.

While those who are mourning want justice, they also want change.

Local leaders like Pastor Jesus Sandoval with the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention said they don’t want Erick's death to be in vain.

“The pain that the community is in right now and the family. We’re going to make something out of this. Sometimes it takes something tragic at this level to help bring a solution to help save other lives," he explained.

He hopes to pivot the violence happening with resources and education.

“We have to make sure we all stand up and say no more. We need to bring justice for Erick,” said Belenzar Loeza.

One of the underage defendants was scheduled for arraignment Friday in San Diego juvenile court. The other is expected to appear on Monday, according to the prosecutor.