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Victim's family and friends speak out in Cincinnati-area shooting

By: Stacey Welsh

EL PASO, Texas -- The family of 22-year-old Efren Gonzalez said he is the victim of a shooting on North Mesa Street near the Cincinnati entertainment district early Saturday. The El Paso Police Department would not confirm the victim's identity.

"I'd like to honor him mainly. I hope everyone remembers him for the great guy that he was, a loving young man," Gonzalez family friend Maria Asencio said.

Gonzalez's mother did not want to speak on camera, and Asencio spoke to KFOX14 on the family's behalf. She said Gonzalez graduated from Eastwood High School with her son.

"I loved him like a son. He was like a brother to my son," Asencio said. His family said Gonzalez was trying to cross North Mesa when the shooting happened.

The El Paso Police Department said the shooting started with an argument when another person pulled up in a car.

Gonzalez's family said they're not sure why he would have been arguing, and the suspect eventually shot Gonzalez in the torso.

"He has fallen victim to another senseless act of violence, gun violence," Asencio said.
"It's kind of sad that it's getting to that level in the area. This is a college area. We have Cincinnati and we have downtown, but nonetheless it's still a college area," west El Paso resident Jessica Rangel said.

While some said they still feel safe in the Cincinnati district, Gonzalez's family hopes his death teaches people to be more aware of their surroundings and more careful when they go out at night.

"We love him, and we will miss him greatly. We know he is in better hands right now," Asencio said.

Police are still looking for a suspect in this case.