NewsCovering Kern County


Man killed in Arvin after celebrating 21st birthday, family members speak out

Posted at 12:31 AM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 19:39:33-05

Family and friends of 21-year-old Ismael Gutierrez remembered him at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night. Meanwhile, no arrests have been made in his murder.

Gutierrez and a 19-year old woman were shot in Arvin on Sunday, just hours after he celebrated his 21st birthday.

On Tuesday, Gutierrez's family spoke with 23ABC ahead of the vigil.

Family members say they will remember him as a role model and a hard worker. Gutierrez's cousin Francisco Padilla says his family is eager for justice.

“We want to know what is going on in these small towns to provoke this violence,” said Padilla.

Padilla called on city officials and Mayor Jose Gurrola to respond to the violence in Arvin.

“That is uncalled for, for a small city like that. I want to know what he is doing to police his city.”


23ABC reached out to Mayor Gurrola who responded in part:

"After the most recent homicide, the Arvin Police Department took action and reached out to its local, state, and federal partners requesting assistance. The APD has learned from the Sheriff's department that Lamont has had more homicides than Arvin and that this issue is regional and there may be a correlation. I am optimistic a successful strategy will be developed to reduce violent crime in Arvin."