As relatives prepared this week to bury a young man shot dead at a quinceanera in West Sacramento, another young man appeared in court on a related murder charge.
On Wednesday, authorities identified one suspect as 20-year-old Jorge Luis Zavala-Garcia of Sacramento. Zavala-Garcia was arraigned Tuesday in Yolo Superior Court, where he was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and committing a crime for a street gang, according to a court clerk. The hearing was continued until Friday.
Zavala-Garcia was believed to have been the getaway driver who fled after the shooting Saturday night inside the packed Local 17, ILWU Hall, said West Sacramento Police Lt. Dave Farmer.
Marcos Estrada Jr., 19, was shot to death. Two other men were wounded by gunfire; police have not made their identities public.
The suspected gunman and at least six other men who were with Zavala-Garcia on the night of the shooting remained at large Wednesday. Farmer declined to release any other details on the case.
Estrada's relatives were making plans to bury "Quitos" -- the nickname for Margot Castaneda's oldest son -- at the end of the week.
Castaneda recalled that time froze when she heard the first shot from a semiautomatic gun Saturday night.
Moments before, she had caught a glimpse of her son trying to break up a dance-floor fight that involved his 13-year-old cousin and someone from a group of men. That was Estrada's nature, members of his family said, to try to keep the peace and protect those he loved. Relatives hosting the quinceanera, Castaneda said, did not recognize the group, which gestured gang signs.
"The quinceanera was beautiful; everything was fine. ... He was having a good time, dancing with his aunts, his cousins. Then these kids showed up," Castaneda said. "They should not have been there." And then, "one thing led to another."
Estrada looked at her, she said, took four steps and then collapsed. She ran over and pressed her hands over her son's chest.
"'Mom,'" she remembered him saying. "'I got shot. They shot me.'"
Relatives have opened a memorial fund through Washington Mutual. Donations may be made in the name of the Marcos Estrada Memorial, account No. 3130784198.