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Mother Seeks Justice in Heart-Breaking Plea After Son's Tragic Death

A Mid-City family is still grieving and seeking justice for the death of Steven Lopez, who was shot and killed three years ago while riding his bike.

Imagining losing a loved one can send pains to the heart, but this mother and daughter had to live through it a few years back.

Flavia Hernandez says she was crying and screaming for God to save her son. 

“I was crying, I was screaming,” Hernandez said.

Her 22-year-old son, Steven Lopez, was shot while riding his bike just feet from his home doorstep.

The LAPD West Bureau Homicide Detective John Lamberti is charged with finding out why. This happened back on March 18, 2018, in the Mid-City area of LA.

“It’s been three years, and I’m still basically at the same place I was two weeks into this investigation. Steven deserves better than that,” Lamberti said.

Investigators know some specifics, but there’s a lot more they don’t know. The surveillance video shows at least two people jumping into a getaway car driven by a third person.

Lamberti has a good grasp as to what happened in those moments but what investigators are lacking is actually finding these suspects.

“What I’m lacking is the identification of the people who were responsible for this,” he said. 

Steven’s sister, Liana Lopez, doesn’t remember hearing the shots that night, but she can’t forget when she cradled her little brother with one arm as he gasped for air while calling 911 with the other.

Steven died in her arms. 

“I remember that I took his pulse and I told them I’m losing him,” she said. “Sometimes I want them to feel my pain you know?” 

Crime scene photos released for the first time to NBC4 show the bicycle Steven had been riding, the multiple shell-casings on the ground and the unmistakable white tent.

“I remember when they put the white cloth,” Liana said through tears. “After that, I don’t remember… I don’t remember.”

 Hernandez says that night is etched in her mind, and the gunshots echo there every night.

 “Five gunshots hit my son, and I don’t know why… why,” she said.

She says a brain tumor as a child left Steven with a scar on his head which he’d always try to hide with a beanie. He had a scar on his shoulder from one of many surgeries, so he’d wear baggy clothes.

He also suffered with epileptic seizures his whole life.

“I know they were out looking to kill somebody that night and unfortunately, Steven was dressed in such a way that he resembled what a gang member would look like,” Lamberti said.

The family is still seeking justice, while trying to break free from their grief.

“I’m not going to lie, I was mad at God, but when you lose someone, your faith sometimes turns around — you get so mad at God that you’re like… why did he take his life,” Liana said.

There is a $50,000 reward for information in this case. Anyone with information can even get the money and remain anonymous. 

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-tips (8477).


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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