The mothers of two men fatally shot during an illegal street takeover in Compton last year joined sheriff's officials on Friday in asking for the public's help in finding their killers.
Javier Carachure Menchaca, 19, and Juan Antonio Orozco, 22, were shot to death during the street takeover on Nov. 14, authorities said. Investigators said neither of the victims was affiliated with a gang and they were merely spectators at the event, which typically involves drivers performing dangerous stunts in their cars.
On Friday, authorities announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the shooting. Detectives said they have exhausted all their leads in the case.
Roughly 200 people attended the illegal street takeover in an industrial area at the intersection of Bulls Road and Pine Avenue, authorities said. Shots rang out as Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrived on scene around 1 a.m. and dozens of people fled in their cars.
The single vehicle that remained contained the bodies of Menchaca and Orozco, according to homicide detectives.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Austin said there were plenty of witnesses at the scene.
"Hundreds of vehicles were out there," said Austin, who joined the families of the victims in asking for the public's help in the case.
Menchaca's and Orozco's mothers quietly pleaded for anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
"I didn't get to enjoy my son's time," Sylvia Rosales, Orozco's mother, said in Spanish while crying. She described her son as adventurous, loving and a hard worker, who dropped out of school as a teenager to help pay for his family's expenses. Orozco was born in Los Angeles and his family is from Jalisco, Mexico.
His girlfriend of four years, Jasmine Baide, said Orozco worked for a mobile detail service. The day before the shooting, he told her and his mother that he planned to attend a street takeover, but didn't specify any other information.
Rosales went out to look for her son the morning after the shooting, because video from immediately after the shooting showed the two men and was circulating on social media. Rosales sobs even now thinking about the fact that the video clearly showed her son was killed.
Menchaca's mother, Hermalinda Menchaca, said her son loved to play both American and Spanish football, but he also liked to play video games. He was born in Los Angeles and his family is from Michoacan, Mexico.
"He was serious and shy, it was rare to see him laughing out loud," Jessica Carachure said of her younger brother.
"He was very intelligent as a young boy," Menchaca's mother said. "Since he was 8 or 10, he wanted to be a police officer or work in law enforcement."
Carachure added that once her brother graduated from high school he said he wanted to be a chef.
Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call homicide detectives Timothy Ruggiero and Austin at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be made at 800-222-8477.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.