Los Angeles

‘He Was My Heart': Family Searches for Son's Killer

Isaiah Alvares was supposed to be attending an anti-violence party. Instead, a fight led to gunfire and the 21-year-old was killed.

On August 26, 2017, 21-year-old Isaiah Alvarez left with friends from the Eagle Rock area to attend what's referred to as a "flyer" party promoted on social media. It was the last night he would be alive.

"When I drove down there that night, I knew where I was. I was in hell," said Alex Alvarez about arriving to find his son face-down on the pavement in an alley. "Everywhere you go the devil is lurking, and he was there that night."

It happened near 105th and Grape streets, an area known for rival gang activity. Los Angeles Police Department South Bureau Homicide Detective Refugio Garza said the party was promoted as a "Blaxican" party, to bring peace to a shaken neighborhood.

"Isaiah was a young guy, liked to party, liked to hang out on the weekend with his friends and attend these parties," Detective Garza said. "Unbeknownst to him, somebody had other plans that night."

Isaiah Alvarez's father says he's since learned the party was supposed to be about anti-violence and anti-gang wars. "It was a Black and Mexican-predominantly neighborhood and they wanted unity."

But what happened that night was far from it.

A fight inside the party broke out - Isaiah Alvarez and his friends caught in the middle. When it spilled out into the alley, Isaiah made a run for it.

"He runs southbound in the alley across 105th Street and he's caught up by the suspects who assault him," Garza said. "He goes to the ground, one of the suspects pulls out a gun and Isaiah is shot."

Tabitha Alvarez fought back tears as she spoke about her son, calling him a good boy, and remembering what she saw that night when they arrived.

"Yellow tape everywhere," she said. "Police lights, police everywhere, every street was blocked off."

Isaiah Alvarez was the oldest of three children. His mom called him the "protector" of his two younger sisters. His cousin, Malaya Torres, said the family bond is shattered.

"He had such a tender and precious heart," Torres said. "They don't know the loving, precious boy that they picked on that night. He didn't want any trouble."

The LAPD says that considering the party was publicized on social media, they believe many of the partygoers took video and photos and they want to see them. So far, few have been willing to come forward, but detectives say if they could see bits and pieces of videos, they may be able to pinpoint exactly who was there and narrow their suspect list.

"I don't know what happened that night, but I know he didn't deserve that," Alex Alvarez said about his son, adding that he believes those responsible will see justice.

"He was my heart, my everything. I died with him that night."

Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD South Bureau Homicide detectives at 323-786-5100. Anonymous callers can leave tips, as well, at 800-222-8477.

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