East Bay News

High school football player fatally shot in Richmond

Monday, August 06, 2012

Richmond police have arrested one suspect in the murder of a popular high school football player and are looking for a second suspect in the shooting death of 16-year-old Ulyses Grijalva, apparently gunned down for wearing the wrong color, red. It's the color of his football team at Kennedy High School in Richmond.

Those who knew Grijalva say he was a straight arrow who was very close to his mother and who would never be involved with gangs. He spent all of Sunday at a family barbecue. Family members and friends are having a hard time with his death.

Ulyses Grijalva had just left his house to visit a friend across the street. His mother says she too had gone out to walk the dog when a few seconds later her son was shot. "I turned the corner and at that point, they had already killed him. I can't believe it. I think he's still in his room. I can't go inside," Enriqueta Grijalva said, sobbing.

Grijalva was shot Sunday night shortly after 9:30. Police have arrested a man in his 20s and are looking for another. "We do believe that the suspect we have in custody does have gang ties," Lt. Bisa French told ABC7 News. But Grijalva does not. He's described by his family and friends as an honest young man who stayed away from trouble. He loved to make friends and the only mistake he made yesterday was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and wear the wrong color," said Ulyses' sister Mitzu Grijalva.

Grijalva loved to play high school football. His mother said he was also a fan of the 49ers and always wore red, which she believes is why he was wrongly targeted by a gang. On Monday, some of his team members and his coach went to pay their respects and show their support. "Ulises will surely be missed by all of his teammates. They are going through a grieving period right now and we've been doing that all night," football coach Mack Carminer said.

"I see him every day at football practice. Every day, he worked hard and the next day, he's gone," teammate Roman Espinoza said.

Kennedy High will have grief counseling for members of the team. School starts in two weeks. Students will then be offered the same kind of counseling. "We have to continue to educate our kids about the dispute resolution, not resorting to violence, not resorting to use of weapons," school board president Charles Ramsey said.

Richmond police still do not have motive. This is the 13th homicide in Richmond this year.

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Tags:
martinez, crime, shooting, richmond, east bay news, lyanne melendez
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