PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — The flowers, the memorials, the tears – Jeanie Esparza said none of this would be happening if her 4-year-old grandson was allowed to stay with her the night he was killed.
“I made it clear to her that ‘It was your fault. You took the baby where he wasn’t supposed to be,’ ” said the boy’s grandmother, Jenny Esparza, referring to her daughter.READ MORE: High-Powered Winds Whip Through Southland, Bringing Cold Weather And Dust Advisories
The grandmother said she and Salvador Esparza’s grandfather tried to legally get custody of the boy because they felt he wasn’t safe living with his mother.
They claimed the mother lives at an Altadena home with her boyfriend, who is a gang member.
“We knew that this house was originally known as a crack house. This house used to be, still does gets raided by the police every now and then,” Esparza said.READ MORE: Grant's 2 Goals Lead Anaheim Ducks' 5-1 Rout Of Tampa Bay
Police said the mother’s boyfriend got into an argument earlier last Tuesday night, and the drive-by shooting might have been a retaliation.
But the boy’s mother, Coral Salvador, said her boyfriend is not gang-affiliated and that a friend of the family at the house was the one who got into the earlier argument. She wished everyone could feel her pain and stop blaming her because she blamed herself enough.
“I saw my baby’s life get taken away from him,” said the boy’s mother. “I just think of that night. And then with everybody else’s comments, with everybody else’s stories,” Salvador cried. “It’s hard on me as a mother to get through. I’m trying my hardest to stay strong for my baby. But it’s just hard.”MORE NEWS: Omicron Surge Still Raging In Southland, Despite Decline In Other Parts Of Country
The child’s killer is still on the loose.