Family of Teen Shot While Painting Over Graffiti Says They Learned of His Death on Social Media

Benny Molina, 14, was killed in a Los Angeles County park on May 13

<p>Rosalie Gutierrez/GoFundMe</p> Benny Molina

Rosalie Gutierrez/GoFundMe

Benny Molina

A 14-year-old boy was shot and killed in a park in California, apparently while painting over graffiti.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says it responded to a shooting on the night of Monday, May 13 in Lancaster, Calif.. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police say.

The county medical examiner’s office identified the victim as Benny Molina, 14, ruling that he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Benny was reportedly in the park painting over gang graffiti with a friend and other teens, according to KTLA, which cited “preliminary reports.” The outlet reported that several shots were fired from a car in a parking lot.

According to a GoFundMe started to benefit Benny’s family, the 14-year-old was an offensive lineman for his youth football team and “exemplified strength, loyalty, and a fierce determination to protect those he cared for, both on and off the field.”

“Benny's promising future was cut short at the tender age of 14, leaving behind a grieving mother, two sisters, and a community shattered by his loss,” the GoFundMe organizer wrote. “Rosalie, Benny's single mother and a dedicated social worker, now faces the unimaginable task of navigating life without her beloved son, all while grappling with the financial burdens that accompany such a devastating loss.”

So far, the fundraiser has generated more than $16,000 in donations.

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KTLA reported that Benny’s family found out about his death through social media.

“My heart dropped because that’s my baby,” his sister, Crysta Gutierrez, told the outlet. “I just couldn’t believe it because this pain is so unbearable.”

No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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