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Memorial for Rialto drive-thru murder victim

April 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
He handed over his wallet, but it wasn't enough. Now the search is on for a gunman who killed a Rialto man in a fast-food drive-thru.

There is a growing memorial for Joshua Huizar that stands just a few feet from where he was gunned down. Family, friends and strangers gathered to comfort each other and pay tribute to the 19-year-old whose life was violently taken.

"It's hard," said Huizar's mother, Elsa Huizar. "We're going through a lot right now still trying to get this all in. It's hard."

"I really don't think it has set in," said Huizar's aunt, Rosa Jimenez. "It's such a tragedy. Our family doesn't know how to cope with it just yet. We don't have him anymore."

Huizar and his girlfriend stopped by a Taco Bell early Sunday morning. Police said the two were confronted by a gunman demanding cash. Huizar handed his wallet over but was shot as he tried to drive away. Paramedics rushed Huizar to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. His girlfriend survived.

Huizar, whom friend's nicknamed "Vampire," was well known in the skateboarding community. He was remembered for his infectious laugh and smile by many of those who stopped by to leave a tribute.

"Nothing could bring him down," said friend Qwanisha Payne. "He was so happy and he used to make me mad because I was like, 'Why are you so happy?' He was like, 'Why not?'"

The violence has left many in the community outraged.

"People say they don't care but everybody has a conscience," said Rialto resident Leslie Monroe. "And wherever he is right now, he is being bothered. He won't find peace until he turns himself in."

Police are reviewing surveillance video taken from the fast-food restaurant as they search for the killer. In the meantime, Huizar's family is hopeful the person responsible will come forward.

"I just hope he has a conscience and he turns himself in," Jimenez said. "I hope he realizes how he hurt our family. Words can't explain what he did to our family."

Anyone with information is urged to call Rialto police at (909) 820-2590.

The family is planning to hold a car wash at the Taco Bell to assist in funeral arrangements. They have also set up a memorial fund for donations:

Joshua Huizar Memorial Fund

Bank of America

Acct# 24537 15975

Route # 121000358