Pasadena

Community Mourns Teen Killed by Stray Bullet While Playing Video Game at Pasadena Home

A 13-year-old boy was playing video games at home when a bullet pierced a bedroom window and struck him. He died at a hospital.

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A 13-year-old was doing what teenagers do -- playing video games at home -- was struck and killed by a stray bullet Saturday at a Pasadena home.

A memorial to Iran Moreno Balvaneda grew all night long, as people dropped off candles and flowers. Although many of them didn’t know the boy, they said, they didn't have to know him to feel the family’s pain.

"The main thing that gets me is, this was a 13-year-old young man, aspiring, dreams, very respectful to not only my neighbors but to myself," said neighbor Richard Boyd. "And all they did was play video games and just have a good time."

A 13-year-old was playing video games at home when he was hit by a stray bullet and killed. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News on Nov. 21, 2021.

The bullet that struck Iran entered through a bedroom window at about 6 p.m. Saturday in the 900 block of North Raymond Avenue, near Mountain Street. Arriving officers performed CPR on the boy and paramedics rushed him to a hospital, where he died.

Iran's family members said he was a good student and close to his family.

“He's a straight A student, spends all his time inside his room with his family and today he’s not there," said John Perez, Pasadena police chief. "So we have to ask ourselves what we want to do about this as a community, with the gun violence. This needs to stop."

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Perez said there is a gang rivalry currently happening in the city, and there have been several shootings in the past few weeks. The target of the shooting was unknown, but it did not appear to be the boy. Investigators had no suspect information but were asking the public to come forward with information.

“As a mom, our hearts are out there," said Isabel Banuelas, a neighbor of the boy’s family. "I think we feel … we’re heartbroken, just like those parents. It’s unfortunate this has to happen."

It was not immediately clear whether the rounds were fire from a passing car.

The Pasadena Unified School District issued a statement, saying the victim is an eighth-grade student at Blair School.

"The PUSD family is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students, an 8th grader at Blair School, in this senseless tragedy," the district said. "Our hearts and thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time."

Anyone with information about the gunshots was urged to call Pasadena police at 626-744-4241 or provide information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or http://lacrimestoppers.org. People can also provide tips with a smart phone by downloading the P3 Tips mobile app.

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