Merced family hopes $10K reward leads to killer in shooting

MERCED, Calif.

A memorial in South Merced marks the spot where Jorge Chavez was gunned down last month. The 28-year-old was parking his prized 1983 Buick Regal at his brother's house when he was shot, causing him to crash into his brother's car. Jorge's 7-year-old daughter was sleeping inside the home at the time.

The victim's brother, Victor Figueroa said, "His daughter thought he just got hurt from the accident himself, the first thing in the morning she wants to go visit him at the hospital, and of course we had to give her the bad news and tell her ... her father had passed."

Before the shooting, Jorge worked as an auto mechanic at Sears and had a passion for low-riders. Including the one that he helped his brother build. Now Jorge's close-knit family is hoping a car show at Lake Yosemite Saturday will bring out people who may know something about his killers.

The victim's brother, Margarito Chavez said, "We're taking his car out there, just to show it and put some flyers out there, see if somebody's seen something."

The family is also offering a $10 thousand reward for information that leads to a conviction. Merced police say tips are critical to investigations like this one.

"Without the involvement of the community we don't solve cases," said Lt. Andre Matthews.

The brothers say despite the stigma that can be tied to the low-riding lifestyle, Jorge never had any involvement in gangs. He just enjoyed creating cars that can jump and spending time with his family.

"It's like a nightmare and we hope that he comes back. It seems like it's just a dream and he's coming home, but it's so difficult, knowing that he's not coming back," said Figueroa.

The car show will be held here at Lake Yosemite on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and anyone with information is being asked to call the Merced Police Department.

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