A year later, family of gunned down Chula Vista man still have questions

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- The family of a Chula Vista man gunned down last June are still looking for answers. On Tuesday they held a memorial at his grave a year to the day after his murder.

“I just want to know what happened," said Peeper Castellano.

For Castellano, the murder of her grandson Jesus Ponce a year ago is still painful and too much to bare.

“I telled him before he get out of the car, don’t go out, police are out, something is going on. Well I fell asleep because I had to go to work. The next day when the kids waked me up telling me that Chuy got shot," said Castellano.

Castellano says the family is still in mourning and are gathering at his grave to remember Jesus and remind others he was murdered in cold blood.

“We don’t know who did it, but he died. We would like to find out who did it.”

Last June, Jesus “Chuy” Ponce was walking with two other men toward an AM/PM when someone opened fire on them at Third Avenue and Zenith. Ponce was shot in the chest and one of the other men was shot in the foot. He and the third man dragged the 19-year-old to the store at Main Street for help. That’s where Jesus collapsed and died.

“Unfortunately, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time at that incident and ended up losing his life," said Chula Vista Police Lieutenant Fritz Reber.

Chula Vista police were at the memorial and say they’re closing in on a group of suspects.

“They’re making progress certainly. The work is not over and that’s why we’re here, both to support the family and also to ask for anybody else who might have more information to please contact us," Lt. Reber said.

Police won’t say what the motive is or whether the shooting was gang-related. Either way, family and loved ones want people to never forget Jesus. His aunt says they all need closure but that won’t come until the person responsible is behind bars.

“I would like to know who did this and know why? It hurts so much knowing he’s not coming back," said an aunt, Yolanda Ponce.

The two men who survived and several witnesses on the street and near the store that night were unable to provide a description of the male shooter, except that he wore dark clothes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers or the Chula Vista Police Department.