On February 28, at 9:21 p.m., Santa Monica Police responded to a report of shots fired in the 2600 block of Pico Boulevard. When officers arrived they found Eduardo (Eddie) Lopez, 15, with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. He was taken to a local hospital where he died. A preliminary investigation revealed that Lopez and two friends were at Pico and 26th Street, when a man approached them, yelled a Los Angeles-based Hispanic gang name several times, and began shooting at the three boys. One bullet hit Lopez. He was an honor student at Santa Monica High School, a member of the school’s football and baseball teams, and described by other students as very popular. The assailant is according to police, as a male, Latino, who was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over his face at the time of the shooting. “A witness reported seeing a white pick-up truck, no further description, fleeing the scene of the shooting,” stated police. Counselors were on hand at Samohi the next day to help students and teachers deal with the death of the popular student. A memorial service was held on the campus after school.A tee shirt with young Lopez’s picture on it was made and worn by many students, and messages were written to him on a length of butcher paper and on walls.Alice Ollstein, a Samohi senior who writes for the Mirror, reported that “most of the school showed up [at the memorial service] and most cried. The baseball team presented the family with Eddie’s jersey. The choir sang. The orchestra played. His friends gave speeches.”At the end of last week, PTSA President Maria Rodriguez announced that a vigil would be held in memory of Eddie Lopez at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 10, followed by his funeral at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 11.Both the vigil and the funeral will be held at St. Monica’s Catholic Church at Lincoln Boulevard and California Avenue in Santa Monica.People who wish to make donations to help Eddie Lopez’s family with funeral and other expenses can send it to a special account: Eddie Lopez Fund, c/o First Federal Bank 1630 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403In a television statement following the shooting, Santa Monica Police Department Chief James T. Butts, Jr. said that every homicide detective in the department had been assigned to the case and vowed that the assailant would be found. Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to contact the Robbery-Homicide Unit of the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8451 or the Watch Commander’s Office at (310) 458-8426. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may also call the We-Tip national hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).
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