Search for Altadena shooter stalls

Search for Altadena shooter stalls

Salvador Esparza was described as a happy boy who was excited to start school.

The search for Salvador Esparza III’s killer has stalled, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Lt. John Corina asked potential witnesses to come forward, sharing new information on the shooting and touting a $20,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

“Up to this point, with the people that were here, we’re not getting any more out of them,” Corina said. “So we’re reaching out to other people here in the neighborhood.”

A 27-year-old man was also wounded in the July 5 drive-by that claimed Esparza’s life in Altadena. Detectives believe that this victim, who they identified as the intended target, knows who shot at him and Esparza. But Corina said he has refused to cooperate, forcing them to turn to the public for help.

Corina also shared more details about the killing. Esparza and his mother, Coral Salvador, were getting ready for bed on the night of the shooting when the boy wandered outside.

At this moment, an unknown assailant shot at the intended target, who was visiting. This assailant, who was described as black, also hit Esparza by accident. The boy was pronounced dead at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.

A few weeks later, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich offering a $20,000 reward, despite an ordinance that limits reward offers to $10,000.

The boy’s grandmother, Juana Esparza, had strong words for those who refused to come forward.

“They’re cowards,” Esparza said. “I do blame the system, I do blame [the boy’s mother], and I blame the cowards who live in this house.”

Corina encouraged anyone with information to contact Sergeant John O’Brien at (323) 574-0461 or Sergeant Domenick Recchia (323) 574-2851 with the LASD Homicide Bureau.

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Correction: A previous version of this article implied Altadena is an incorporated city. Altadena is a community in unincorporated Los Angeles County.