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Loved ones gathered mementos and shared stories Thursday, and were planning a funeral for a Huntington Beach native who was shot and killed in his hometown last week, while two suspects in his homicide remained behind bars.

Officers responding to reports of gunfire at about 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. in the area of Keelson Lane and Kristin Circle found a 23-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound, Huntington Beach police said in a news release. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Relatives identified him as Martin “Necio” Chavez, 23. Detectives said he was sitting in a car and minding his own business when two men ambushed him, according to his sister, Anna Chavez, 32. She received a brief video from one witness of her youngest brother, wounded and fighting for his life.

“I don’t even know how to explain it. It felt like my heart came out of me, like a piece of me left with him,” Anna Chavez said through tears. “My life will never be the same without him. I wish I could have been there or done something.”

 

  • Anna Chavez, left, sister of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr., brother in-law Mario Lemus, fiance, Martha Calderon and her children and sister, Gabby Chavez, talk about their memories of Chavez, Nov. 2, 2020 and place candles where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Gabby Chavez, sister of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr., writes a note and places candles Nov. 2, 2020 where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Family and friends of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr. talk about their memories of him Nov. 2, 2020 and place candles where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Daniel Chavez, right, talks with family and friends about his 23 year-old brother, Martin Chavez Jr., Nov. 2, 2020 as they talk about their memories of him and place candles where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Gabby Chavez, sister of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr.puts flowers at a memorial Nov. 2, 2020 where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Family and friends of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr. talk about their memories of him and place candles where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Gabby Chavez, sister of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr. sits at a memorial Nov. 2, 2020 where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Family and friends of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr. talk about their memories of him Nov. 2, 2020 and place candles where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • A memorial is set exactly where 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr. was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Martin “Necio” Chavez, 23, leans against the railing at Huntington Beach Pier. He was fatally shot Friday, Oct. 28, 2020 and two men have since been arrested in connection with his killing. (Photo courtesy of the Chavez family)

  • Gabby Chavez, sister of 23 year-old Martin Chavez Jr. sits at a memorial Nov. 2, 2020 where he was gunned down in Huntington Beach on Oct. 28, 2020.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

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She had difficulty understanding her sister when she called at about 11 p.m. last Wednesday to tell her what happened to their brother. She tried to convince herself that he would be OK as she rushed to UCI Medical Center. But doctors told her family Martin Chavez was completely brain dead, and he died later that evening.

Investigators suspect his killing may have been gang-related, Huntington Beach police Lt. Julio Mendez said. Evidence collected at the scene of the shooting led detectives to identify Richard Cardozo as a person of interest, police said in a news release. They took him into custody on suspicion of homicide after speaking to him Friday, Oct. 30.

Armando Delgado Jr. 21, was arrested the following day in connection with Chavez’s death. Investigators located a firearm at that time.

Both suspects were Huntington Beach residents and held in lieu of $1 million bail, police said. None of the slain man’s sibling have ever met them before, his brother, Daniel Chavez, 29, said.

Martin Chavez was born and raised in Huntington Beach and loved the ocean, his sister said. The first thing he would do practically every morning was walk to Huntington Beach Pier.

Martin “Necio” Chavez, 23, leans against the railing at Huntington Beach Pier. He was fatally shot Friday, Oct. 28, 2020 and two men have since been arrested in connection with his killing. (Photo courtesy of the Chavez family)

He was a Chivas (Club Deportivo Guadalajara) fan who arranged soccer games with friends as often as he could. Chavez did construction to earn a living. As jobs became scarce during the pandemic, he found more time to spend with is nieces and nephews, his sister said. He is survived by two brothers, two sisters and his parents.

Martin Chavez’s death has been particularly hard on his mom and dad.

“All these memories that she had with him, she talks about it, and then she starts crying, obviously, when she thinks about him,” Anna Chavez said. “My dad, you can tell he is suffering so bad. He’s trying to keep strong, but there are times when he breaks.”

They have spent the past few days sharing stories with their children, sorting through their youngest son’s belongings and planning his funeral. Anna Chavez and her siblings have been hosting carwashes and other fundraisers to help cover the cost Martin Chavez’s burial. Those who might want to support them can donate to a GoFundMe campaign run by his family.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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