S.F. Mission District Shocked by Senseless Killing

Cristian Roman, a life-long friend of slain Mission District native Jacob Valdiviezo, waits to visit with the Valdiviezo family at a candle-light vigil held Wednesday, April 3. Roman said Valdiviezo had absolutely no gang affiliation, yet he still became a victim of gang related violence over Easter weekend. PHOTO BY ALEX EMSLIE / KQED

Cristian Roman, a life-long friend of slain Mission District native Jacob Valdiviezo, waits to visit with the Valdiviezo family at a candle-light vigil held Wednesday, April 3. Roman said Valdiviezo had absolutely no gang affiliation, yet he still became a victim of gang related violence early on Easter Sunday.
PHOTO BY ALEX EMSLIE / KQED

By Alex Emslie
KQED

Flowers and candles cover the long front steps outside Jacob Valdiviezo’s family home in San Francisco’s Mission District. They are physical reminders of the grief flowing from a community shaken by the aparently senseless killing over Easter weekend.

Jacob Valdiviezo was a student at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Or., and an alumnus of Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco. He was shot and killed Saturday in what police say could be a random act of gang violence.

Valdiviezo was walking with a friend near his family’s home when an unidentified man approached and asked what gang the two claimed, said Officer Albie Esparza, spokesman for the city’s police department. The man then fatally shot the 19-year-old and fled the scene. Police have not made any arrests, and the investigation is ongoing, Esparza said.

The crowd of mourners who gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the home Wednesday night was so large police closed the block to traffic.

Valdiviezo was killed while on a surprise spring break visit home. He was a sophomore at Lewis and Clark, where he studied economics on a football scholarship, and played wide receiver.

“He was a good kid – did not deserve this,” said Cristian Roman, a longtime friend of Valdiviezo. “He was just trying to live his life. He had his future planned out for him, maybe even a career in sports if he wanted to.”

The Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association and the Mission Peace Collaborative are planning a candlelight march Friday at 7 p.m. The march will leave from the 16th Street BART Station. Marchers can choose to attend an 8 p.m. viewing and rosary at St. Peter’s Church.

Family members are planning a public memorial service for Jacob Valdiviezo on Saturday. Mass is scheduled for 1 p.m., followed by the burial at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Donations to the family can be made through the Facebook page “Remembering Jacob Valdiviezo.”

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