'It needs to stop': Family mourns loss of teen homicide victim
An Anchorage mother is disputing a claim made by her teenage son's accused killer, that 15-year-old Raynaldo Khotesouvan's death was the result of gang rivalry.
"For someone to accuse him as a gang member is just so wrong," said Siou Khotesouvan.
Raynaldo's parents and 13 siblings are grieving after he was shot and killed in Mountain View Friday.
Siou says her son and his 14-year-old little brother were walking to a gas station in Mountain View to get a soda when a group of people started taunting them. She says he initially ignored them, but on the way back home, they confronted him again. The interaction turned into a fight and Raynaldo was shot.
He died at the scene of the altercation near the 500-block of North Bliss Street.
Siou went from planning to pick her son up for a weekend camping trip, to planning his funeral.
"I talked to the funeral home today trying to arrange my son’s funeral, and I shouldn’t have to do that," she said.
A juvenile, Luimariamofoa Polu, 16, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying, according to charging documents released by prosecutors Saturday afternoon after his arraignment in Anchorage Jail Court. Another defendant, 19-year-old Michael Marquez, faces a charge of fourth-degree assault in the case; both Marquez and Polu face an additional count of evidence tampering.
"[Polu] explained that he was a Blood and claimed that he believed the victim – whose name he did not know – was a Crip," prosecutors wrote, noting the red shirt seen in surveillance video and its link to red Crip gang colors. "[Polu] explained that he had never seen the victim until that day. He claimed that (the) victim disrespected him on the street."
"He doesn’t even know my son," said Siou, "My son was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was just walking to the store to get soda. That was it."
"My brother tried to walk away, but he kept on egging it on, egging it on," said one of Raynaldo's siblings.
"He's a loving, caring child. He's my baby, and I love him a lot," Siou said tearfully, later adding, "All he wants to do is just hang out with his little brothers. Now, I'm not gonna hear my son say, 'Mom, do you need me to help you watch the kids? Do you want me to take them fishing?' I'm not gonna hear that no more. I died the day he died."
Even the thought of justice doesn't bring them much peace.
"I thought I was gonna have some closure when they arrested the guy but I don't have any closure. I'm happy that they got him, but it doesn't make my heart change how I feel," said Siou.
"He gets phone calls home. He can get visits," said Juliana Khotesouvan, of her brother's alleged killer, "We have to visit a grave."
"It needs to stop," said Siou, of violence in Anchorage, "Please just stop."
The family has set up a Gofundme account to help with the unexpected funeral costs.
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