crimesider

Teen Jogger Jonathan Garcia Shot to Death During Morning Run, Ariz. Family Pleads for Public's Help

Adriana Sandoval, right, gets a hug from Cynthia Lewis, as they gather with other friends of Jonathan Garcia at his makeshift memorial Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ariz. Teen Shot to Death During Morning Jog, Family Pleads for Public's Help to Find Killer
Two students hug at makeshift memorial for Jonathan Garcia, Wed. Nov. 10, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (CBS/KPHO/AP) The family of 13-year-old Jonathan Garcia, who was shot to death while jogging in East Phoenix in what police are calling a random act, is pleading for the public's help to find the killer.

Authorities say the boy left his house for a run on Sunday morning, and approximately a half-hour later he was gunned down. Neighbors told Phoenix police that they heard yelling coming from the area, then they reportedly heard shots and a car leaving the scene, reports CBS affiliate KPHO.

No witnesses or suspects have been found, and police say it's a random incident.

On Wednesday, Isaac Espinoza, Garcia's stepfather, stood before a memorial of teddy bears, flowers, candles and personal notes created by many of the young teen's schoolmates and spoke of his family's grief.

"It's horrible. It's wrong," said Espinoza. "Our family has been torn apart. ...All we want is just help. We want closure."

Garcia was a dedicated 8th grade student and starting football player at Larry C. Kennedy Middle School. His stepfather, Isaac Espinoza, said the teen dreamed of being a doctor and was often playfully teased about being a "teacher's pet."

Espinoza said that Garcia and his mother moved to the U.S. from Honduras about 10 years ago and just two years ago the teen's father was slain in a shooting in their native country.

He urges those who may know anything about the case to come forward.

"Someone knows something," said Espinoza.  "I put myself in the position where if I knew a family member of mine had committed such a crime that would destroy somebody's life, there's just no way I'd be able to harbor that person, even if it was my own brother, my own mother, my own son."


  • Naimah Jabali-Nash

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