Teen homicide victim identified

A memorial has been set up in the Lodi parking lot where Jorge Gonzalez, 15, was shot to death last Friday.

The San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office this week identified last Friday’s homicide victim at a strip mall in Lodi as 15-year-old Jorge Gonzalez of Lodi.

On July 2 at about 8:14 p.m., officers responded to a shooting in a parking lot at 1030 S. Hutchins St., where they found a 15-year-old boy, later identified as Gonzalez, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body.

Officers, Lodi Fire Department and AMR personnel attempted to perform life-saving measures on Gonzalez until he was taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries, police said.

Residents commenting on the department’s Facebook page said the incident was a drive-by shooting, while some said Gonzalez was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“My daughter’s boyfriend,” Richard Ross commented. “He was just walking with his cousins, random drive-by shooting... really good kid, not involved in gangs, just at the wrong place at the wrong time. We are devastated.”

The News-Sentinel attempted to reach out to Ross for additional comment, but he was unavailable.

“As a mother with a 15-year-old son, this is tragic no matter how you look at it,” Kelly Mattews posted. “This hits home... my heart and prayers go out to this young man’s family.”

Detective Michael Hitchcock said there was little additional information available Wednesday.

“What we do know is that it does not appear to be random, and there appears to have been an altercation between the victim and suspects before the shooting took place,” he said. Gonzalez was Lodi’s fourth homicide victim this year, coming less than a month after the June 13 murder of 25-year-old Julian Gonzalez on the 200 block of North Central Avenue.

Friday’s homicide is still under investigation, and detectives are asking anyone with information to call 209-333-6727 or Detective Carillo at 209-269-4781. You may also contact the Lodi Area Crime Stoppers at 209-369-2746 to remain anonymous. Reference case number 21-4244.

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