SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — In the North Sacramento Community of Del Paso Heights, Luberdia Kodama is overcome by her grief after a 19-year-old was shot and killed in the area on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t want this for nobody. Like, nobody knows my struggle. I don’t got none of my kids. All my kids are gone. I Iost all my kids to adoption,” Kodama wailed.
Across the street on North Avenue, friends and family paid respects at a growing memorial in a park nearby. A cookout was underway to help pay for the funeral of 19-year old Syncere Dixon.
Saturday afternoon at around 3:45 p.m., Sacramento police responded to North Avenue and Rio Linda Boulevard after getting reports of a car crashing into a fence.
Responding officers discovered the body of Dixon slumped outside of the car near North Avenue.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The aunt of the victim said somebody in the neighborhood knows something because so many people were in the area at the time.
“We’re looking for answers, you know?” Atiya Hempstead said. “It’s too many senseless crimes…these young men getting gunned down in the middle of daylight.”
Hempstead had helped raise Dixon and said he was a good young man.
“Syncere didn’t deserve this,” she said. “Syncere was a good kid. He was a good kid, and we know someone has some answers out there.”
The cookout was a celebration of his life and also a fundraiser to help the family pay for funeral costs. For Dixon’s long-time girlfriend, it signified the loss of her future.
“He always put me first and he would always be like, “I want to see you smile, I never want to see you cry,’ “18-year-old Kylie Gordon said.
Family members said Syncere overcame the odds to graduate Grant High School and attend school in Texas, where he hoped to play football. He was on his way to secure his future and never forgot those behind him.
“Syncere was a great big brother to his younger siblings. He was a role model in the community. He was energetic,” Hempstead said.
Gordon said they spent almost every day together and wanted to have children.
“He just wanted better for everybody, even though he deserved better for himself,” she said.
In this tight-knit neighborhood, rumors are circulating about who’s responsible, but police have little to go on.
Dixon’s aunt believes answers won’t come easily, but that’s what everyone is hoping for.
“I don’t have the answer. I don’t know who has the answer, but this wasn’t supposed to happen to Syncere,” she said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Dixon’s family.