Rafael Aguilar back in his Rough Rider days. Photo by Erik Sarni.
More than 150 people attended a fundraiser and memorial in Roosevelt High School’s auditorium Wednesday night for 22-year-old Rafael Aguilar Jr. Former teammates dressed in football uniforms to honor and celebrate the life of “Ralphy” Aguilar, who graduated from Roosevelt in 2008.
Police say Aguilar was shot and killed Nov. 6 in the 3300 block of Hunter Street in Boyle Heights. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Israel Lopez. Gustavo Lopez, 29, the alleged gunman’s brother, was also shot and killed.
According to family members, Aguilar was at his friend’s home trying to get his computer fixed when the shooting occurred.
Friend and former classmate Eloisa Barraza said Aguilar was “ at the wrong place at the wrong time.” She said the family is taking the tragedy the best way they can.
Rafael Aguilar Sr. held back tears, saying the family is devastated.
“There are not words in the dictionary that can describe the pain of a father or a mother losing their son,” he said in Spanish.
Tacos and soft drinks were sold to help raise money for the family. A formal memorial and viewing was held Thursday night at Hosana Church in Compton.
Donations to the family can be made to Bank of America account #325001312362, which is under the name of Oscar Alatriste, a close friend of Aguilar’s.
Arturo Torres contributed to this story.