SAN DIEGO – Three years to the day he was shot and killed, Jesus Chuyito Ponce’s family gathered by his grave Friday at La Vista Memorial Park.
“It’s just changed my life for forever. That night has changed my life forever,” said Martina Gaxiola.
June 9, 2014, was the night Gaxiola's son was brutally gunned down on a Chula Vista street, but her family still feels the pain like it was yesterday.
“You learn how to live without him,” said Yolando Ponce, Ponce’s aunt.
“Every day’s a struggle. Every day’s a struggle to think that this person’s still walking and my son’s not here anymore,” said Gaxiola.
Just shy of his 20th birthday, Ponce was shot as he was walking to the local AM/PM store to buy a midnight snack with some friends.
Ponce was shot in the chest and his friend in the foot. His wounded friend and another man dragged Ponce's lifeless body to the store, where he collapsed and died. To this day, the gunman has never been found.
“That person is still walking, that person is still able to visit their family, that person is able to walk, talk, breathe, everything, But my son’s not here anymore,” said Gaxiola.
“There’s so many whys, what did he ever do to you? There’s so many things that go through my mind, so many questions.,” said Yolanda.
To find those answers, Ponce’s family re-opened their wounds; sharing their pain in hopes someone would bring forward the justice they seek.
“Somebody out there knows something, we want them to speak up, we need justice that’s all we’re asking for,” said Yolando.
Ponce was Gaxiola's only son, the eldest of three children. She said he was a good boy.
“He was so loving, family-oriented,” said Gaxiola.
Chula Vista police have yet to name a motive or even a suspect. Until then, Ponce’s family said they’re not giving up. Closure won’t come until the person who took Ponce's life is behind bars.
“We need justice, we need closure for my family and hopefully somebody will be able to bring that for us,” said Gaxiola.
Ponce would have turned 20 that July. Gaxiola said her son always had dreams of serving his country as a member of the U.S. Navy.