Family of boy fatally shot raising money for his funeral, burial expenses

WATSONVILLE (KRON/BCN) -- A boy fatally shot Wednesday in Watsonville has been identified as 15-year-old Aaron Lopez, police said Monday.

Aaron, a Watsonville resident, was walking blocks away from his home when he was gunned down, his sister Dinorah Lopez said.

His family started a GoFundMe account on Friday to raise money to alleviate the costs for his funeral and burial, she said.

The page has raised $1,285 of its $8,000 goal as of Monday evening. Donations can be made online.

Aaron was found on a sidewalk after officers responded to a report of shots heard in the area of Lawrence Avenue and Magnolia Drive around 6:20 p.m., police Lt. Saul Gonzalez said.

The teen suffered multiple gunshot wounds and officers administered first aid to him, according to Gonzalez.

Firefighters and paramedics responded and performed life-saving efforts on Aaron, who was later pronounced dead at the scene, Gonzalez said.

It appears the murder has "gang overtones," Gonzalez said.

The teenage boy was a son, brother and uncle who would've celebrated his 16th birthday on Jan. 24, according to the GoFundMe page.

He leaves behind his mother, six siblings, three half-siblings and 11 nieces and nephews, Dinorah Lopez said.

She described her younger brother as a happy guy who always had a smile on his face and was optimistic.

"He always lent out a hand when it was needed," she said.

Aaron was a fan of the Oakland Raiders and would sometimes clash with Dinorah, who favors the San Francisco 49ers.

The 15-year-old was a sophomore at Watsonville Community School, a continuation school, and was working on his improving his grades to transfer to a high school, she said.

He loved all kinds of music and used to carry around a portable Bluetooth speaker wherever he went, she said.

Sometimes, he would dance with their mother in the kitchen, Dinorah said.

"All I can think about is how big his smile was and the big heart he had," she said.

Detectives are looking for witnesses who were in the area of Lawrence Avenue, Magnolia Drive and South Green Valley Road and saw a dark-colored sedan speed away around the time of the shooting, police said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the police crime tip line at (831) 728-3544 or the department's investigation bureau at (831) 471-1151.

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