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elvis alfaro-escobar

Slain Richmond teen mourned at St. Cornelius Parish

on September 2, 2011

Friends and family on Friday filed by Elvis Alfaro-Escobar’s casket.

Above the cold, metallic-blue box was a picture of the stocky teenager posing for his 2011 high school graduation portrait.

His smile was proud and understated. His gown a rich green. An American flag served as the background.

“He was a smart kid,” said Susan Montelongo, a friend and classmate at Richmond High School. “He took advance placement classes.”

More than 200 people gathered at St. Cornelius Parish in Richmond to say goodbye. Escobar, 17, was killed Aug. 23 when he was shot near the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Eighth Streets, where the teen had been hanging out with friends on a warm night.

mourner for elvis alfaro escobar

(photo by Robert Rogers)

Police say Escobar was killed by multiple gunshot wounds in the back. The gunman fled on foot. No suspects have been named, nor have police given a possible motive in the attack.

Friends and relatives remembered the teen as a fun-loving prankster who bought an old car with money he earned working summer jobs. Escobar also loved music, writing lyrics and composing songs with computer software. He was the youngest of three children and very protective of his parents, friends said.

“I don’t know exactly what Elvis would say if he were here,” said Rev Filiberto Barrera, whose eulogy of Escobar had most of the mourners dabbing tears from their eyes. “But I know for a fact that he would say thank you. Thank you for being here for my mother and my father.”

pallbearers with escobar's casket

(photo by Robert Rogers)

Rev. Barrera delivered most of his 45-minute remarks in Spanish. He said it is always a tragedy when a young person dies, whether by disease, accident or street violence.

Escobar’s casket was carried into the towering parish’s halls by friends, and after the service was carried outside to a waiting black limousine. He was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in San Pablo.

As the limousine motored off, a gaggle of Escobar’s friends, mostly red-eyed teens, shuffled around in a semicircle and shared memories.

“He was always happy, always wanted to make you laugh,” said a tall, gangly boy dressed in all black. He declined to give his name, citing simmering tensions in the community.

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