STOCKTON (CBS13) — A man was gunned down on the streets of Stockton in what his friends say could be a case of mistaken identity.
Jose Diaz, 21, was walking to a market on Mariposa Road where, police say, he may have been followed before he was shot and killed.
“We don’t know the true motive behind this homicide,” said Stockton Police spokesman Joe Silva. “Just a very senseless act of violence.”
Diaz’s friends say he wasn’t into gangs or drugs and believe he was mistaken for someone else.
“I guess just the wrong place, wrong time,” Mohamed Algahim said.
Friends are holding a weeklong car wash on the southeast side of Stockton to raise money for Jose Diaz’s funeral.
“I don’t think anybody would have a grudge against him because he was just the best person. Nobody hates him. Everybody loves him,” Algahim said. “He was always looking out for people, I don’t know why him, you know?”
The shooting happened the same week Stockton police received a grant to stop crimes like this. The $400,000 from the Department of Justice is part of a joint program with local law enforcement to take illegal guns off the streets.
“Going after those groups or gangs that are committing violence by using guns,” Silva said.
The money isn’t just used to prevent crimes, but to solve them as well. Guns are often passed around by gangs, so detectives compare shell casings within a database to see if the weapon was used in another crime. It’s the kind of thing that could be crucial to catching Diaz’s killer.
The grant money will pay for the fourth year of the Firearms Reduction Consortium in San Joaquin County that has taken hundreds of guns off the streets.