Family and friends walk to remember teen killed by police

Created: 06/22/2014 10:32 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There are still a lot of questions in the police shooting death of Victor Villalpando.

New Mexico State Police are still investigating why an Espanola police officer shot and killed 16-year-old Victor Villalpando. Few details have been released other than Villalpando called 911 on himself and eventually pointed a gun at police officers.

Sunday afternoon, none of that mattered. Tonight was about a family in Espanola missing a member. As the family walked with about 150 other across the city, their cry was for peace.

“We want less violence on the streets and we are going to show it with this walk,” said Jonah Shure, Villalpando’s brother.

The walk was to remember Victor Villalpando and raise awareness.

Victor's family says that this walk is the only way to promote the change that will make sure that no other family has to live without a son. Victor Villalpando’s mother, Patty Shure, spoke through tears,”I knew that things would be fine when he grew up, but he wasn't allowed to grow up.”

Shure’s hope is that today's march brings about a "tsunami of change"

“No mother should have to live with a dead child, not though gun violence of any sort, that policies have to change the way we respond to crisis needs to change,” she said.

And supporters say the time is now

“We are moving toward a paradigm shift here in Espanola, looking at the behavioral health system, the very net that possibly did not catch this child,” said Roger Montoya, a friend of Villalpando’s.

Villalpando’s mother just hopes that today is the beginning of a better future.

“Absolutely, it’s the only way we will make a difference is if we join together.”

After the walk, there was dancing to honor Victor's memory and the family says that this process of change with take a long time, but it starts today.

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