Pomona family say 8-year-old boy killed in drive-by shooting loved life, superheroes

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Pomona community is coming together as the family of an 8-year-old boy, who was killed in a drive-by shooting, mourn his loss and remember a child full of life.

The victim's family opened up Thursday, telling Eyewitness news they want the tragedy to help heal and bring the community together.

Tom Hsieh described his cousin's son, Jonah Hwang, as a little boy who loved superheroes. Jonah was shot and killed in a drive by as he was eating dinner at a family friend's home on Feb. 20.

Hsieh shared his memory of the energetic boy adopted almost three years ago from Taiwan.

"He just jumped right in and embraced everything and embraced everyone," he said.

The Pomona community is now embracing the grief-stricken parents and Jonah's brother, who is also adopted.

Pastor Adam Donner said the couple's strong faith in God and the support they've received is helping them during the difficult time.

"The one thing about the Hwangs, I mean the Hwangs love this city well and they have not given up on it," he said.

The Pomona Unified School District is also helping to honor Jonah. Yellow ribbons tied to trees and posters featuring the 8-year-old were fastened to school fences during Kindness Week.

Nicole Pinon, whose son played football with Jonah, came up with the ribbon idea. Yellow is the international color of hope and is also Hwang's last name in Chinese.

But the yellow ribbons are also a symbolic message.

"We know that the people out there that did this have family members, have neighbors, have children maybe that are in the community - and maybe, just maybe, come forward and do the right thing," Pinon said.

A memorial service for Jonah will honor his love of superheroes. The family is asking those who attend to bring an action figure.

It will be held at Purpose Church - formerly known as First Baptist - in Pomona on Saturday.
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