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Teen killed when gunman opens fire near AM/PM store

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A 19-year-old man was killed and another young man was wounded in a shooting near a convenience store in Chula Vista, police said Monday.

Chula Vista Fatal ShootingThe two victims and another man were on their way from a residence in the 300 block of Zenith Street to buy snacks and drinks at the nearby AM/PM at Third Avenue and Main Street about 11:45 p.m. Sunday when they were attacked, Chula Vista police Lt. Fritz Reber.

As they reached the southwest corner of Zenith Street a man in dark clothing began shooting from the northwest corner of the intersection, Reber said. He fired at least six rounds, striking the 19-year-old man in the chest and a 20-year-old man in the right foot, he said. A 22-year-old man was not injured, Reber said.

The two older men dragged their fatally wounded companion about a block to the AM/PM, tried to get help from a family in a car, but then pulled the victim into the store, Reber said.

Arriving police officers attempted to revive the young man, but he was declared dead shortly after midnight, Reber said. The injured man was taken to a hospital to be treated.

The victim’s family identified the dead man as Jesus Ponce. His mother, Martina Gaxiola, said his death was heartbreaking, but she has to remain strong for her two other children.

“This could happen to anybody’s kids. I never thought that it would happen to my own. It’s like my worst nightmare,” Gaxiola said. “There’s these cowards out here that are just randomly shooting people. And that needs to be put to a stop, and I hope they find these people that shot my son. My son was innocent. He was loved by a lot of people — by everybody. He was really a good kid.”

Ponce’s family set up an online fundraiser to help cover funeral costs.

12 comments

    • friend of his

      we will surely miss are beloved friend, no he was not in gang related he was a good guy who would always make everyone laugh and have a good time! he will always have a special place in our hearts!

  • Tania

    I live around the corner Where this happened. Its just so sad that this keeps on happening and nobody puts a stop to it! May you rest in peace

  • Denise

    So sorry to hear of another shooting, is it ever going to stop? My sympathy to all involved.

  • YanaM.

    People are so quick to jump to conclusions, just because it happened in Chula Vista and (assuming by his name) the poor guy was Hispanic, doesn't mean it was a gang related activity. I don't know that. This article didn't say that. Either way this shouldn't happen. Sad and shame on you Mr. Cruz.

  • friend

    it actually was a gang related just for you guys that think it wasn't it was but it doesn't make him a bad person . and he was a very funny guy he'll be missed very much.. something happened earlier that day that triggered the man to come back and did what he did .

  • Andrew

    Must be an Obama voter, be on prescribed drugs, have a mental illness; and he could've done it with a knife, a hammer or a car; no law would have stopped him anyway; your dead son doesn't trump my constitutionally-guaranteed right to my phallic symbol; it's a small price to pay to prevent our tyrannical government from taking over … have I missed any of the nonsense that you gunnuts keep using to "justify" the slaughter of innocents?

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