Community holds fundraiser for Carlos Nava

August 13, 2011 5:31:41 PM PDT
There was a huge show of support on Saturday for the family of a three-year-old killed by gang violence in Oakland.

Police say Carlos Nava was struck and killed by a stray bullet last Monday that was intended for a gang member. One person has been arrested in the shooting that has left a family devastated and a community in shock.

A memorial full of stuffed animals continues to grow on International Boulevard for Nava, and a nearby car wash held on Saturday was an effort to raise some money for the young boy's family to cover funeral expenses. It was also an opportunity for Oakland's community to rally around the family that has suffered a terrible loss.

Jose Luis Nava, one of the cousins of the slain three-year-old, was one of the event's organizers.

"It's just really sad, you know?" Nava said. "He was three years old. He still didn't live life and somebody took it away from him."

The young boy was murdered on International Boulevard last Monday at a Little Ceasar's restaurant where he and his mother were eating pizza before being caught in a crossfire of bullets. Oakland police say the gunfight was part of an ongoing gang dispute.

The boy's father, also named Carlos Nava, arrived at the memorial and car wash on Saturday to light a candle for his young son and pray for a few moments before moving on to the fundraiser itself.

Nava didn't want to speak on camera, but told ABC7 he is grateful to everyone who has turned out in support of his family.

The fact that the victim was only three is what has cut especially close to neighbors in Oakland. Throughout the day on Saturday, parents with their children could be seen stopping by the memorial for the young boy.

"I just came by to donate," said Leiza Segovia, "and just to show my love to the little boy. I didn't know him, but I know how it must feel."

As the snarl of cars stayed constant throughout the day, it became clear that the event was not just a chance to donate a dollar to a family in need, but also an opportunity to make a statement about the ongoing violence in Oakland.

"In these streets, you have kids here every day," Nava said. "There shouldn't be another casualty of a young child in the streets of Oakland."

One of the organizers said the same car wash will take place on Sunday. Organizers hope to raise the $5,000 needed for the victim's family, and thanks to Saturday's fundraiser, they're close to meeting that goal.


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