candles and framed pictures of the fallen teenagers now act as a reminder
of the heartbreak and trauma that inevitably follows street violence.
A second memorial cropped up on a strip of sidewalk on Jacquelyn Lane,
where Vasquez fell.
The memorials popped up on Saturday, following the tragic shootings in
the Oak View neighborhood over the weekend.
Police are in the midst of an intensive investigation into the deaths,
which are thought to be gang-related. No suspects have been arrested.
Gaytan and Vasquez were both fatally shot early Saturday morning as
they walked along Nichols.
While Gaytan died at the scene, Vasquez crawled down the street toward
a relative's house, where he collapsed. Both boys were shot in the upper
The killings broke the city's nearly three-year streak without a
homicide. They were the first since the murder of Bridgette Ballas, a
29-year-old Calvin Klein account executive who was found raped and
bludgeoned to death on Nov. 27, 1999. Police arrested 23-year-old Victor
Miranda-Guerrero for that crime.
Saturday's vicious double homicide deeply saddened city leaders who
said they have strived to make this city a safe place.
Councilwoman Shirley Dettloff said she has worked to implement
after-school programs in the Oak View neighborhood to provide activities
for idle teens.
"We've made a real concerted effort to work with that community,"
Dettloff said. "It's very disturbing."
Seething with equal parts rage and grief, Gaytan's 14-year-old brother
remembered Oscar's trademark sense of humor.
"He wasn't a bad person," Danny Gaytan said. "He was a nice person. He
used to tease people. He was funny."
However, both boys, who were close friends, were also known for their
brushes with police.
Gaytan, the father of a 5-month-old son, Ivan, had been released from
juvenile hall earlier this year.
School administrators at Ocean View High School remembered Gaytan as a
student who had little success in the classroom. In fact, he was
constantly absent, Assistant Principal Paul Sevillano said.
"Mr. Gaytan never attended our school regularly," Sevillano said. "He