A 19-year-old East Palo Alto man who was shot to death Sunday night (July 24) has been identified by the San Mateo County Coroner as Kevin Guzman.
Guzman was killed and an 18-year-old was hospitalized after an unknown assailant or assailants fired on them as they greeted friends, Guzman's cousin, who witnessed the shooting, said.
Guzman was just greeting his cousin and other youths when he was gunned down in the parking lot of the Emmanuel Pizza and Bakery at 1489 East Bayshore Road in East Palo Alto.
Guzman and the 18-year-old were shot at about 10:30 p.m.
The cousin, who asked not to be identified, told the Weekly that five youths had just met up when the shots rang out.
"We were just saying, 'Wussup?,' he said, motioning a fist bump the cousins gave each other moments before the gunfire.
The youths scattered, running toward the back of the building and down an alleyway. The second youth was hiding under a car with gunshots to his legs, he said.
Guzman reached the end of the alley and collapsed onto his back near Euclid Avenue, just steps from the yellow school buses parked at the Ravenswood City School District headquarters, his cousin said.
"I ran to him and he said, 'I'm dying, I'm dying.' I started feeling around and trying to lift him up, to find out where he was shot," he said. Guzman had been shot in the chest, he added.
He called 911, but Guzman died just as police arrived. "It took too long for the ambulance to get here," he said.
On Monday, the cousin stood outside the nearby CARE Nutrition Center, where mothers with young children come to receive food assistance just a few yards from the scene of the gunfire. He said he did not know why Guzman was shot.
"It just happened too fast, and they took my cousin's life away.
"I guess they wanted to put a hurt on him bad and they did," he said.
"I don't know why he was shot. He never wanted to tell me his troubles. We never talked about it. I don't know why," he said.
East Palo Alto police held a press briefing at 11 a.m. Monday. The department's Criminal Investigations Division is handling the case and detectives have not determined a motive for the fatal shooting.
No suspect description was immediately available from police, but they are looking into a possible connection between Guzman's killing and the deaths of two other young people in the last 12 days, police said.
Catherine Fisher, 19, of Menlo Park, and Hugo Chavez, 26, were also gunned down on July 13 and 19, respectively.
Three East Palo Alto residents -- Christian Fuentes, 20, Jaime Cardenas, 19, and Fidel Silva, 24 -- are suspects in the two homicides.
Another man, Jabari Banford, 23, was fatally shot on July 18. Police have not named a suspect in his killing.
Witnesses are asked to contact East Palo Alto police by leaving a voicemail message or sending a text message to their anonymous tip line at 650-409-6792. Those with information about the homicide can also send an anonymous email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The shooting marks the fourth homicide in East Palo Alto since July 13.