Friends, family shocked by college student's death

January 24, 2012 6:54:19 PM PST
The search is on for a gunman in Richmond after police say he shot an innocent college student, in a rage, after losing his intended target. The victim is 22-year-old Edwin Arnold Martinez of Richmond. He was sitting in a car with his sister, about to head to night school.

The search is on for a gunman in Richmond after police say he shot an innocent college student, in a rage, after losing his intended target. The victim is 22-year-old Edwin Arnold Martinez of Richmond. He was sitting in a car with his sister, about to head to night school.

"He just wanted to be one of those kids that did something with his life, especially growing up in our kind of neighborhood," said Sabrina Raj, Martinez's girlfriend.

Raj speaks sadly about her boyfriend. They lived in an apartment on Nevin Avenue. The 22-year-old had been sitting in his car with his sister Jenny. Police say another car zoomed past them, chased by a man with a gun.

"It appears that there was a lone shooter on foot that was shooting at another vehicle prior to firing into the vehicle that this victim was in," said Richmond Police Det. Nicole Abetkov.

The shooter apparently gave up the chase, then turned to Martinez's car and began firing. The shots missed Martinez's sister. He was hit and died at the scene. They were just about to leave for Contra Costa College in San Pablo, where they were both students.

Family and friends tell us, he wanted to get his certificate to become an auto mechanic. They say Martinez was a serious student.

"He started distancing himself from friends just because he didn't want any kind of disruption at all. He wanted to focus on school to better himself," said Carlos Flores, Martinez's uncle.

Martinez's close friend, Prentice Brown, was at the apartment just before the shooting.

"No one should have to wake up and think 'Oh, this may be my last day on this...' You know what I mean? It's a zoo out here," said Brown.

Amid the hurt and anger here, there is also disbelief that someone could just take a person's life for no apparent reason.

"I can't understand how somebody could do this. I mean, if you couldn't hit the car you were trying to hit, why go after somebody innocent? What did that person do to you? I mean, he didn't do anything. He was going to school," said Raj.

Police are investigating, but apparently they don't have many leads. They do say they need the public's help.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Richmond Police at: (510) 620-6643


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