Community of Avenal seeks justice for violent deaths

AVENAL, Calif. (KFSN) -- A community seeking justice for the violent deaths of two people in the span of just one month. Dozens of protestors marched along their streets asking for peace.

"I have two girls -- two babies -- and I can't take them out because I'm scared of anything happening to them or to me," said Fabiola Escalera.

Two recent murders prompted this peace March. Avenal police said 14-year-old Yovani Hernandez was gunned down one week ago. And in a separate non-gang related murder -- Santos Cabrera - was shot to death just weeks before that. So far, nobody's in jail.

"A lot of people that I've spoken to are in fear that if something happens they don't want to say nothing because they think someone is going to retaliate and I don't think we should be living in fear," said Blenda Vazquez.

Avenal police picked up two 16-year-old suspects in connection with the murder of Hernandez. But the Kings County District Attorney's Office declined the charges for lack of evidence. Hernandez's father wept at the peace march and asked whoever is responsible to come forward.

Antonio Hernandez Torres said he is praying no one else will be killed. Though he'll never get his son back, he wants justice for the teen's murder.

Both investigations are ongoing and Avenal police said Tuesday they're actively searching for suspects.

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