Long Beach

Vigil Held for Teen Shot to Death While Trying to Buy Phone in Long Beach

Joshua Simmons, 15, was shot and killed while buying a cell phone at a community center.

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A community is mourning a teenager who was fatally shot while trying to buy a cellphone in Long Beach.

Dozens of friends, family and community members came together over the weekend to pray and remember 15-year-old Joshua Simmons.

“We are all devastated because we love him so much,” said Vannarith Im, the victim’s uncle. 

Police say the teen had arranged to purchase a cellphone from someone he met on the Internet. Simmons and the man met at a community center Friday night just before 9:30 p.m. 

According to police, during the transaction the two had an argument and Simmons was shot several times.

“He was really funny and you could always talk to him about everything. He wasn’t like the rest of the guys at our school, he was real quiet,” said Jhordyn Johnson, a friend of the victim. 

“One minute I feel like it’s not real he’s still here and then the next minute I'm breaking down because there's a realization you won’t see your brother again,” said Destiny Clark, the victim’s sister. 


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Those who knew the teen say the whole incident doesn't make sense.

"He was just a goofy person a loving person with good intentions and it’s so sad this had to happen to him," Clark said.

Jose Bustamante Cardenas, 24, of Los Angeles was arrested in connection with the incident. 

He contacted police and admitted his involvement in the shooting, authorities said.

“It’s a relief, a little bit of closure but at the same time a life is lost now and it was just unnecessary,” Im said. "Seeing how much everybody else loved him is touching for us."

Family and friends are now trying to come to terms with the loss, saying the turnout at Sunday’s vigil is a testament to the type of person Simmons was.

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