Friends, family gather in honor of Cortez Batiste, hope to bring awareness to community

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The community came together Tuesday to show support for the family of a teen who was tragically gunned down and taken too soon. 

Loved ones, including the mother and siblings of 13-year-old Cortez Batiste, gathered with faith leaders and others to bring awareness to the violence that goes on in the community. 

Many were shocked to hear of the death of such a young person. 

Cortez was first found with multiple gunshot wounds near railroad tracks, exactly a week ago. Police are still investigating the case, looking for a suspect.

As the search continues BPD is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect. They are asking anyone with information to call the Secret Witness hotline.

Through it all, Cortez's mother is staying strong thanks to the community's help, and says she will always remember the happiness and laughter that her son brought to others around him. 

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