seeking justice

Police Seek Killer of Teenaged Father to Be

LASD Sheriff's detectives say they hope the teen friends will have grown up since the April 2015 murder.

At least two people know who killed 18-year-old Angel Ledesma.

That's the belief LA County Sheriff homicide detectives are going on, nearly seven years since Ledesma was shot and killed in an alley in East Los Angeles.

"Angel was a happy kid," said his mother, Minerva Howard. "He was full of energy, he was loving, he was caring."

Ledesma was her first child. She says he taught her how to be a caring, loving mother. She says her son was interested in joining the military, that he found joy in his high school ROTC program. But all his dreams were destroyed by a single bullet to the back on April 13, 2015.

"All I know is that somebody shot my son," Howard says, through tears. "I feel like he didn't mean nothing to nobody. But you know what? He means something to me. That was my son."

LASD Detective Rich Tomlin was there the day Ledesma was killed and continues to investigate the killing. He says Ledesma was with two friends in an alley near Cesar Chavez and Alma Street when someone walked past them in the opposite direction.

"Nothing was said, no confrontation when suddenly that individual stopped," Tomlin says. "He had a backpack, turned and retrieved a handgun and started firing at the three young men."

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As the teens scattered, Ledesma was the only one hit, leaving his family as the collateral damage all these years later.

"I accept the fact that my baby is gone and it won't bring him back," Howard says. "But what happened? Give me some answers and I'll be OK."

Tomlin says he believes both Ledesma's friends could identify the killer, but have so far refused to cooperate.

"One is very hesitant because of fear of retaliation, the other just said he didn't want to cooperate with police," he says. He hopes that with the passing of time, those witnesses will have matured into grown men.

Howard says it's likely his friends didn't know Ledesma was about to become a dad when he was killed, he didn't know at the time, either.

"That's something that was taken from him, that he was going to be a father," she says.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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