STOCKTON (CBS13) — A stray bullet struck and killed a 21-year-old recent college graduate blocks away from where it was fired.
Police say Francisco Martinez was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Video of a fight at the corner of Eighth and Scribner streets shows someone pulling out a gun and nearly emptying their clip—firing 10 shots.
Friends say Martinez walked outside to chat with a friend when a stray bullet hit him in the chest.
“If he hadn’t stepped outside, he would have been here right now,” said Ashley Leao. “He was just laying right there. The mom was telling him not to go.”
His mother’s pleas wouldn’t be enough. Paco, as his friends called him, would later die at the hospital.
“He had a bright future, but I guess it went short,” said Justin Leao. “He really didn’t deserve to die.”
In a rough neighborhood, Paco steered clear of drugs and fights.
“He wasn’t into no trouble. He just graduated from college,” said Justin Lleras.
Family members who didn’t want to go on camera say Paco was going to be an electrician. His main goal was to get a good job and help support his mom.
On Thursday, a memorial filled the grieving family’s wall while friends give advice that in this case is just too late to help.
“If you want to fight, fight with your fist, because once you fight with guns, you’re going to shoot innocent people that had nothing to do with this,” said Ashley Leao.