'It's a crack house': Family questions why boy killed was at Altadena home

Marc Cota-Robles Image
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Family questions why 4-year-old killed was at Altadena home
The family of 4-year-old Salvador Esparza III, who was shot and killed at a home in Altadena, is searching for answers about why he was at the home.

ALTADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- A heartbroken family attempted to learn why their beloved 4-year-old boy was at a home in Altadena when he was shot and killed.

Salvador Esparza III, 4, was shot and killed during a shooting at a home in the 300 block of Figueroa Drive on Tuesday.

Authorities said 13 shots were fired and a 27-year-old man was also struck. Officials said the man survived.

MORE: 4-year-old child killed, man injured in Altadena shooting

The child's mother said the attack was the result of an earlier argument between the suspect and her family friend.

"They followed him to the house and they shot. They were trying to shoot at him, which they did get him, but they also got my baby," Coral Salvador, Salvador's mother said.

But members of Salvador's family on his father's side questioned why he was at the home.

They said the boyfriend of Salvador's mother lived there and it was a known drug house.

"It's a crack house. It's a place where people come and go to sell drugs and get drugs," Jenny Esparza, Salvador's grandmother said.

Jenny Esparza said her son, Salvador Esparza II, was in a fight for full custody of his son earlier this year.

She said a court-appointed mediator told her son, "He would sound like a jealous boyfriend," if he attempted to gain full custody, so he settled on joint custody with Salvador's mother.

"The system turned on us, I feel the system didn't do the right job," Jenny Esparza said. "He was our light. He was everything for us."

ABC7 contacted the Los Angeles County Court, but they said they couldn't comment on a case that went through its mediation unit.

Both sides of the family were grieving and planning a planning a funeral for later in the week.

In the meantime, Salvador's mother said she wants the shooter, who remains at large, brought to justice.

"I hope they see it as that could have happened to my child," she said. "They took my child away from me. I will never get to see my baby, hug him, kiss him, ever again."