'Heinous' motive revealed in random shooting, murder of teen girl

10:28 29.08.2023

In a shocking crime that has rocked the community, 20-year-old Gabriel Esparza, the son of a Los Angeles County Fire Department captain, has been accused of abducting and attempting to rape 19-year-old Andrea Vasquez in California. The incident took place on August 20th at Penn Park in Whittier, where Vasquez was on a date with her boyfriend. Esparza allegedly targeted Vasquez at random, opening fire on her and kidnapping her from the park while her boyfriend sought cover.

According to prosecutors, Esparza then drove Vasquez to a remote area in Moreno Valley, approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles, where he attempted to rape her before ultimately dumping her body in a field. The heinous nature of the crime has shocked the community, with Los Angeles District Attorney George Gasc??n stating that it has "shocked our community to its core."

Esparza's attorney, Ambrosio Rodriguez, described his client as scared and claimed that he was just beginning to understand the gravity of the situation at his arraignment. Esparza pleaded not guilty to seven counts, including attempted rape, kidnapping, and murder. He has been ordered to be held without bond.

The identity of Esparza's fire captain father has not been publicly revealed, adding another layer of intrigue to the case. Esparza's arrest came after he provided police with an extremely detailed confession, admitting that he did not know Vasquez and targeted her randomly.

Vasquez's boyfriend, who witnessed the horrifying incident, reported that after the shooting, he returned to the car to find Vasquez missing and a trail of blood. Her sister, Edlyn Vasquez, used a phone tracking app to locate her sister's phone, which was moving along the 60 Freeway towards Riverside. She and a friend attempted to follow the car but lost the signal in Moreno Valley.

Tragically, Vasquez's body was discovered a short distance from where her phone was last tracked. Esparza was arrested at his workplace in Lakewood on August 21st, the day after the abduction. The investigation into the crime is ongoing, with authorities working diligently to gather evidence and build a strong case against Esparza.

The devastating loss of Andrea Vasquez has left her family and community reeling. In a heart-wrenching tribute on Facebook, her sister, Edlyn Vasquez, expressed her deep pain and sorrow. "My beautiful angel, I'm completely destroyed!! Words cannot describe this pain!! I love you with all my heart and my soul. Until we meet again my beautiful baby, R.I.P."

Vasquez, who had dreams of pursuing a career in cosmetology, was greatly loved by her family, as described by a relative, Emily Martinez. The senseless and brutal nature of her abduction and murder has left those who knew her mourning the loss of a bright and promising young woman. As the case moves forward, the community hopes for justice and closure for the Vasquez family.

/ Tuesday, August 29, 2023, 10:28 AM /

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