Police Continue Search for Men Who Killed Uncle, Nephew at Sylmar Family Gathering

Jesus Lopez (left) and his nephew Ivan Lopez, who were both killed when a group of men opened fire the afternoon of Sunday June 14 at a home in the 12900 block of Borden Avenue in Sylmar.

With live music and loved ones all around, Jesus Lopez was laid to rest on Monday, July 6.

Lopez, 41, was killed the evening of June 14 while he and several members of his family were gathered at his home along the 12900 block of Borden Avenue, in the vicinity of Sylmar High School.

The day of the tragedy, the family had held a yard sale and was simply enjoying a good time afterwards on a sunny and bright afternoon.

Lopez’s son Mark said, “We had just finished closing. I went to get some pizzas and when I came back we ate together and I told him (my dad) ‘I’ll be right back.’”

Mark went inside the house and then he heard the bullets.

“There were five shots first, and then they just let it all loose,” Mark said.

Lopez’s niece (who asked not to be identified) said in an email, “My family is a very Mexican traditional family. As we all ask why, we don’t get no answer to why kill a family who loves gatherings and not start problems with anyone.”

Los Angeles Police Commander Joseph Kaylin described the suspects as “three male Blacks in dark clothing [who] approached the house and the shooting occurred.”

One of those bullets struck Lopez in the head. He was rushed to the hospital and died at around 9 p.m. on June 14, another relative confirmed.

Ivan Lopez, his 35-year-old nephew, was hit in the torso and died instantly. He was laid to rest on June 26.

Another of his nephews, Carlos Haro, was also hit, but survived. He had his 10-month-old daughter on his lap and threw himself on the floor to protect the baby when the shooting began, Mark said. 

The family set up a GoFundMe Account (https://bit.ly/2YAV7Sw) for Jesus Lopez to raise funds for the funeral costs and other medical expenses. Jesus Lopez worked in the catering business for the motion picture industry. He had been married for 25 years, and leaves behind three children, ages 21, 20 and 13.

Actor Daniel Jolles, who made a donation to the GoFundMe page, described Lopez as a “wonderful burst of energy” on the set of the television series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

“Such a warm and caring guy who absolutely made every day a little better. No matter how early we got there, he was there before and had the energy of someone who couldn’t fathom why anybody could be tired. It genuinely got me going some mornings. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss,” he wrote.

Ivan Lopez worked two warehouse jobs and “loved horses,” family members said.

A GoFundMe page (https://bit.ly/2O3frqF ) set up to raise funds for his funeral describes him as a “charro,” a Mexican horseman or cowboy.

 “Se te va a extrañar compañero Charro,” (You will be missed Charro colleague) wrote Junior Garcia, who made a donation.

“You will forever live in the hearts of everyone who love and care for you,” wrote Aury Gomez.

 

Motive Still a Mystery

The family says the police continue investigating the case.

Another Lopez relative, who asked not to be identified, said they have received one update from the LAPD since the day of the incident, but given that it is still an open investigation, they were advised not to discuss it.

The motive for the attack remains a mystery to the family.

“As far as we know, Jesus and Ivan did not have issues with anyone. Jesus was a family man. Ivan had no children but he was devoted to his two jobs and his horse, who he loved. If he wasn’t working, we always knew he was at the ranch with his horse,” the relative said.

They also ask anyone who might know something about the incident to come forward and report it.

“We do wish that anyone that might have information on the case or possibly cameras near the home where the incident happened to please share with the police. We want justice for our family and we want these people out of the streets,” the relative said.

Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call the LAPD Mission Division station at (818) 838-9800. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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