In the photo, Pedro Hernandez is all smiles next to his parents. He’s sweaty, his uniform dirty after a grueling game.
Hernandez was a big guy with a matching big smile, a defensive lineman who played on the Varsity Football team at James Monroe High School in North Hills during the 2016-2017 season and the photo is from one of those games.
The 19-year-old graduated in June 2017 and since then worked at Diamond Supply Company.
And last Sunday September 2, he was gunned down at a house party on the 14500 block of Tyler Avenue in Sylmar.
The Los Angeles Police Department said that just before 1:00 a.m., four guys came into the party and got into some kind of altercation with other party attendees and fired an unknown number of shots. Hernandez got the worst of it and while paramedics rushed Hernandez to the hospital, he died from his injuries.
Another young man received a graze wound to the head and was found down the block from the party. He was treated and released.
Police said there were shell casings all over the place along what is normally a quiet street a block away from Olive Vista Middle School.
“On behalf of the Hernandez-Montelongo Family we would like to thank you for your generosity & appreciate each prayer sent our way!,” the message on the account read.
Los Angeles Police Department stated that the party appeared to have been organized through social media, causing some to think it was an open invitation.
Authorities said they were looking for four suspects in connection with this case. The suspects have only been described as Hispanic males.
“We don’t know if they saw the invitation on social media or how they came to this house, but they did arrive and shortly after a shooting did occur,”said LAPD Sgt. Robert Leary.
The sergeant added that it appeared those at the party didn’t know the suspects.
By the time officers arrived at the scene, most of the party goers had left, Leary said. It was not known how large the party was.
Meanwhile, the sergeant warned of the possible consequences that could arise from these types of gatherings, even in a “quiet neighborhood” like the one where the party took place.
“Don’t be throwing these social media parties if that’s what it comes out to be, because unfortunately you might not get people that you want at your party,” Leary said.
At the site of the shooting, there are several candles and flowers, as well as a photo of Hernandez placed on top of a scrawled sign that reads,“RIP King Pete.”
Friends on social media, even those who remembered him from his years at Sepulveda Middle School, expressed their dismay at the tragedy.
“Fly high Peter, you were always a great friend been knowing you since 6th grade it was always laughs with you! Sending my prayers to your family,” wrote Ilse Arias on the GoFundMe page.
“No more house parties for me. Can’t believe. RIP Peter”, read another message by “Nico” on Twitter.
LAPD Valley Bureau homicide detectives are asking for anyone with information regarding the shooting to call them at (818) 374-1938.
A GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/PedroAntonioHernandez has been created to help the family cover the funeral expenses. At press time, more than $4,000 out of the $10,000 goal had been raised.