by: Sareen Habeshian
The City of Pasadena is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the death of a 13-year old boy, who was struck by a stray bullet.
The tragedy unfolded just after 6:10 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the 900 block of Raymond Avenue, the Pasadena Police Department said in a news release.
Iran Moreno Balvaneda was in his room playing video games when gunfire erupted outside the home. One of the bullets pierced through the room and struck him.
Balvaneda’s family, who were at home at the time of the shooting, found him and called for help.
“It sounded like fireworks,” recalled Iran’s cousin, Maria Balvaneda, describing the sound of gunfire. “But then, me, mom and dad were like, it was a little close.”
Family members say the teen collapsed in the living room, and his father held him in his arms as loved ones dialed 911.
Police arrived and immediately began life-saving measures on the unresponsive boy, then paramedics rushed him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The teen was not the intended target, authorities said. Three to five gunshots were fired near the family’s home.
“Pasadena Police Department Homicide Detectives are working diligently to follow-up on all investigative leads during their criminal investigations and the public play a pivotal role in the investigative process,” the news release states. “Information gathered from the public during previous investigations has proven to be instrumental in helping law enforcement bring those responsible to justice on behalf of all victims.”
Iran was a straight-A student at Blair Middle School, where he was in the eighth grade. He loved basketball and soccer, his family said.
“He had a very bright future ahead of him,” Balvaneda said.
In December of 2020, the Pasadena City Council established a reward fund to encourage witnesses of violent crimes to come forward and provide information which can potentially assist in the arrest and conviction of individuals responsible for the crime.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Pasadena Police at 626-744-4241 or can report information anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 or on their website. Information can also be directed to Lt. Keith Gomez of the department’s Violent Crimes
Section at 626-744-4517.
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