A pair of skateboards, dozens of candles, flower arrangements, balloons and a wooden cross surround a tree in the 13200 block of Bromont Avenue, just west of Maclay Avenue, in Sylmar.
This is the spot where someone shot and killed Jorge Nario, a burgeoning rapper, on Feb. 1. The 17-year-old Nario was pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics who responded.
Homicide detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Valley Bureau are seeking the public’s help for information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect responsible for the murder.
There have been a rash of shootings recently in the Northeast Valley, including a murder in Sylmar resident as he answered the door from his home less than a month ago.
The news that Jorge, called “George” by his friends and “Georgie” by his family was shot and killed has been devastating.
His uncle Jorge Nario, who the teen was named after, told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol that their family is trying to piece together information. “Our whole family is heartbroken ” he said. “He was always a sweet, loving, kind boy and it’s just so hard for us to believe that this happened. No death is pretty, but he didn’t deserve this.”
“Georgie” he said, had been going to Verdugo Hills High School, had a part time job and had a lot of creative interests.
Nario was also known as Jshmoke. He had released a rap song called “What You Thinking?” and loved music, said friend Dilan Torres, who showed up at the sidewalk memorial Monday morning, Feb. 5.
“He was pretty good,” Torres said of Nario’s musical attributes, while playing the song on his cell phone. “He wanted to be a rap artist. He was always positive, ready to help out a friend. He helped me.”
Other sentiments were posted at the sidewalk memorial.
“Rest in paradise. You are gone, but not forgotten,” reads a note from a J and N, posted before a photo there.
“We will always miss you,” read another post.
Marcos Bonilla, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who owns the Defiant MMA and Fitness Academy in Burbank, saw another side of Nario. He said the youth had been coming there “since he was a small kid” and showed promise as a boxer.
“He’s been here as long as I can remember. I think he started when he was nine or 10,” Bonilla said. “He was a good kid. And in the last year or so we saw an evolution in his boxing. I felt he was making a transition from kid to man.
“He was flourishing. We were very impressed with his technique and work ethic. He was coming into his own. He always had his little brother in the gym with him and looked out for him. Always had a smile and was very spirited. Never had any trouble; just a good guy.”
While initial reports indicated the teen had refused to give up his belongings in a robbery attempt, police would not confirm that information or any other details. Detectives would only say that an investigation is underway.
According to the LAPD, the shooting occurred at about 7:35 p.m. When officers arrived, they discovered the mortally wounded teen lying on the ground.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim … had an argument with the occupants of a white SUV,” LAPD officials said. “The victim attempted to open the passenger door of the SUV when the driver produced a handgun and fired a single shot at the victim.”
The SUV is described as a white Chevrolet Tahoe with custom rims. The gunman was described only as a Latino male with dark skin and a mustache. He was wearing a black cap with a yellow “P” on the front.
Friends described Nario a “good kid, who was looking forward to graduating this year and to his future.”
Oswaldo Gonzalez created a gofundme page for Nario (https://www.gofundme.com/long-live-jorge-nario) with the goal of raising $10,000 to help Nario’s family. On the page he wrote, “My friend Jorge recently passed away. I’m trying to help his family raise money for his funeral. I’ll be grateful if you guys can help with any donations.They tried robbing him and they pulled a gun and killed him with a single shot.”
Torres said he heard that Jorge was hanging out with friends that day and was ready to go home. He was sitting on the curb with a friend when the SUV stopped next to them and someone tried to rob him.
“I really hate to see a friend go, especially such a good person like him,” Torres said. “It’s just sad to see people do stuff like this.”
Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call the LAPD Valley Bureau homicide office at (818) 374-9550, or (877) LAPD-247.
Mike Terry contributed to this story.