Mendota, CA – A night of remembrance and reflection for the 12-year old boy gone too soon. His tragic death now serving as a wake-up call to the small community of Mendota still shaken by the sudden loss of Ivan Gomez.
“He is the community’s child.” Said Ivan’s football coach Carlos Quintanar.
From signing a football, to retiring his number two jersey. The community coming together five days after ivan gomez was fatally shot while he and his 13-year old friend were playing with a .25-caliber handgun at his dad’s house in Firebaugh. Still many questions surround what investigators have called an accidental shooting.
“It serves as a reminder at least with gun safety to take it seriously, but as coaches refocus and remember why were actually out here. we’re out here to save kids like ivan.”
Ivan’s coach Carlos Quintanar just one of many honoring Ivan in front of a couple hundred people. They say Ivan always wore a smile and his passion for football energized his team, never forgetting his first big play.
“You see Ivan, all eyes on that ball, he has a DB two steps on him and sure enough catches it and the sideline goes nuts.”
We will never know what kind of legacy Ivan may have had on the football field but his impact on this community will never be in doubt.
“When you got a kid who has a heart that wants to win, wants to fight for every play and every down, you know there’s something special.” said Gomez
The boy’s mother and some family attended the memorial but did not want to talk on camera. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is still looking into how the boys were able to gain access to the gun. As of now no charges have been filed.