Slain Watsonville High freshman Jesse Lopez would have turned 15 this weekend.
Jesse was fatally shot on Dec. 10 in a gravel turnout on Hecker Pass. Five alleged gang members have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the shooting, which also injured one of Jesse's friends, a 14-year-old Watsonville boy.
This weekend, some of Jesse's loved ones went to the spot on Highway 152 where the young man was shot to mark his life.
"I didn't know Jesse or his family personally, but he and my son are friends," Monica Ramirez wrote to Watsonville Patch on Sunday morning, when she sent a photo of Jesse's grave decorated with flowers, balloons and candles. "My heart goes out to his family and friends—especially his mother. I pray that she feel Jesses presence and he give her strength."
The men accused in the shooting, all from the Watsonville area, will be back in court Feb. 17. David Moreno Sanchez, 19, Alejandro Alexis Rodriguez, 18, Juan Soto Gonzalez, 22, Uriel Ortiz, 18, and Carlos Valencia, 20, all have pleaded not guilty to charges.