Multiple events held in Valley to honor murdered Fresno street vendor

Lorenzo Perez was on the job when he was shot and killed in broad daylight.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Vigils, marches, and vendor fairs were held in different parts of the Valley on Sunday to remember a street vendor whose life was tragically taken last Sunday.

Lorenzo Perez was on the job when he was shot and killed in broad daylight.

Officers have arrested 18-year-old Demarcus Vega in connection with the murder.

RELATED: Police arrest 18-year-old for murder of Fresno street vendor Lorenzo Perez

In Madera, an organization called Shoe Plug organized a march aimed at standing up for street vendors.

Dozens came together as one, holding signs and marching, demanding a safer future for street vendors.

"We just want people to stop attacking our street vendors, enough is enough," said organizer Jay Vasquez.

The march started in Courthouse Park in Madera to Millview Park over a mile away.



Emeterio Pozos is a street vendor himself. He was at the march.

He said street vendors are being killed, and having to go out and sell in fear wondering if they're going to return home.

He said he hopes police do more to protect them.

Standing up for street vendors also meant giving back as many of those who marched stood in line to buy their snacks in support.

"We need to send the message to protect our street vendors, ensure they're safe and that they get to their families," said organizer Herlindo Moreno.

But Moreno said a March is only the beginning.

He and others are hoping to create a bigger organization focused on protecting street vendors.

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Dozens came together as one, holding signs and marching, demanding a safer future for street vendors.



United by the same cause, people gathered at Pilibos Park in southeast Fresno to pay their respects to street vendor Lorenzo Perez on Sunday evening.

Hours before that, a vendor fair was held at Lets Roll Fresno in central Fresno to raise funds for the Perez family.

Organizers said that four vendors were sponsored by the community to come out to the vigil and hand out free food and snacks.

"When something like this happens, you feel helpless, like you don't know what to do. This is a way of saying, at least I can do this part, I can do this for them," said Brandy Medina with The Craft of Me.

"A lot of people don't realize what it takes to send your loved one out there to do these jobs every single day," said Sheila Escobar with Sco Boutique.

RELATED: 'He didn't deserve to die like this': Family of murdered street vendor speaks out

Dez Martinez remembers Perez fondly.

She says he was a bright light who brought cheer to her neighborhood.

"He was always happy. It didn't seem like it was a job, it was a passion," Martinez said.

Martinez says Perez was killed in front of her home near Alta and Pierce Avenues.

She and her daughter have now unofficially changed the street's name to Lorenzo Avenue, complete with a handmade sign.

"We have our own sign, and it is going to be Lorenzo Avenue to us," Martinez said.

Martinez is now working with the police department and city leaders to create a neighborhood watch, so other innocent lives aren't senselessly taken.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said investigators are still looking into the motive behind the murder but added it's likely Vega is a gang member.

Vega is being held at the Fresno County Jail on charges of murder.
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