Mother wants justice after 16-year-old son is gunned down in Earlimart


A Tulare County mother spoke out after her teen son was murdered Friday.

Ignacio Lemus Vasquez a 16-year-old from Alpaugh was shot outside an Earlimart soccer field.

The two suspects 18-year-old Jesus Fernandez and 19-year-old Vanessa Macias are now in custody for the shooting.

Lt. Joe Torres said the homicide does not appear to be gang related.

Ignacio’s mother Raquel Lemus Vasquez was heartbroken speaking about her son Monday. She said he was always a good kid and was well liked in the community. She said he wanted to work hard and have a house and family.

Raquel said she’ll miss her son’s hugs and dances.

Torres said the shooting happened around 10:20 p.m. Friday. He said the suspects met Ignacio in the area of Howard Road and Washington Avenues in Earlimart.

“They did know the victim. They’ve known each other for some time, and unfortunately an argument led to a shooting and he ended up getting shot,” Torres said.

Torres did not say who pulled the trigger or how many shots were fired, but said Ignacio died on scene after being hit in the upper torso.

“From everything we’re getting he was a good kid and it’s very tragic anytime we have a homicide, but being it’s a 16 -year-old kid he had his whole life ahead of him, and unfortunately these people took his life way too early,” Torres said.

Torres was not ready to release a motive, but said the Sheriff’s Office would likely release more information within the next 48-hours.

Raquel said Fernandez and Macias were dating, and said her son spent a lot of time with Macias.

Torres said witnesses helped identify the suspects and detectives placed them under surveillance while they built their case.

They were both taken into custody following a traffic stop, and face murder charges. Detectives are still searching for the gun.

“It’s already taken one life. We don’t want another,” Torres said.

Raquel said she now wants justice for Ignacio and wants Fernandez and Macias to stay behind bars.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses:


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