Saturday, August 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Shooting victim Amaya remembered, as family gathers to fight violence

2 amaya 1

Alexis Ceja, 3, bottom left, Liliana Prepiado, 13, top left, and Christian Guiterez, 4, point out a group photograph during a "Justice for Jessie" event at Allan Witt Park in Fairfield, Saturday. Jesus "Jessie" Amaya was a victim to a homicide in Feb. 2012. Organizers held the event to remember and celebrate Amaya. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | February 02, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Trying to turn tragedy into something positive.

That was the theme of the latest Justice for Jessie event held Saturday at Allan Witt Park to commemorate Jesus “Jessie” Amaya who was gunned down in a robbery-turned-homicide Feb. 1, 2012.

Amaya’s family and friends have since been trying to turn his death into a call for positive change in Fairfield and bring an end to the cycle of violence that claimed his life.

With a barbecue lunch, music, fun and games, Amaya’s mother, Vernalisa Gutierrez, and a small army of friends and family got together to show young people there is a better way and that they can become a force for positive change.

“This is not only in memory of my son. It’s not only justice for Jessie, but it’s justice for all these kids,” Gutierrez said.

In August 2013, Miguel Bastida, a 20-year-old Fairfield gang member, was convicted in Amaya’s slaying, though he was not the trigger man. That suspect, Mario Vasquez, remains at large, and police believe he may have fled to Mexico shortly after the shooting.

Along with music and food, Gutierrez had representatives of the Matt Garcia Foundation, Mission Solano and Operation T.H.U.G.S. on hand to speak to those gathered.

“Larry Blueford and Operation T.H.U.G.S. is going to be out here and they’ll be talking to the kids. I’m not going to lie, there’s probably a few of them that need it,” Gutierrez said of the group that mentors young people and tries to steer them away from life on the streets.

Raffle prizes were also available, many donated by local businesses.

“A lot of people donated. H&R Block, Hometown Buffet, Red Robin, they all know our family,” Gutierrez said.

“I really want it to be positive,” she continued. “I’m not only hurting for my child, I have friends.”

Gutierrez said she went to school with the mother of Terrell Brumfield, who was shot to death the night of Jan. 3 at the Parkway Gardens condominium complex.

“It’s not only for my child, it’s for anybody’s child,” Gutierrez said, who also grew up with Theresa Courtemanche, mother of slain Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia.

Echoes of the cycle of violence the family is trying to stop are everywhere.

Gutierrez also said that the celebration was being held on the anniversary of the death of 13-year-old Genelle Renee Conway-Allen, whose body was discovered at Allan Witt Park, not far from where the gathering took place.

“For us, it’s a slap in the face every time we open up the paper and find out another kid has been murdered,” said Minnie Giron, Gutierrez’s sister and Amaya’s aunt.

“All these guys that are here now, I grew up with them, but I always had someone there to make sure I go the right way,” said Eddie Gumataotao, a longtime friend of Amaya’s. “You just got to realize it’s not worth it. We lost somebody, but you can always make a change. It starts with one person and everybody will get out of it.”

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or mcorpos@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • ENEDINA GARCIAFebruary 02, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    I REALLY WANT TO SAY THAT A MOTHER CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A CHILDS LIFE.GETTING INVOLVED AND KNOWING WHAT HER CHILD IS INTO.HERES ONE THAT LOST A CHILD BY SOMEONE WHO FEELS THAT THE GANG IS THEIR FAMILY BUT HOW WRONG THEY ARE.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ON TURNING AROUND THE WRONG INTO A GOOD THING.JESSIE YOU ARE ALIVE IN OUR HEARTS AND JUSTICE WAS REALLY THE RIGHT THING.TO MY NIECE AND SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS MIJA KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND STANDING BEHIND THE FAMILY YOU SURPRISE ME,TIA LOVES YOU,

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Vallejo celebrates cultural diversity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
2 shot Friday night in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
County looks for Solano centenarians

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

Badges pinned for new Fairfield, Vacaville firefighters

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Inmate sues jail for $4.5M over returned letter

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
‘Nuttin But Fun!’ theme of 2015 Dixon May Fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Adult literacy efforts in need of volunteers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Brown signs two bills by Wolk

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Interpol seeks clues to Thai ‘baby factory’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Parents had hoped to negotiate with Foley captors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
US won’t let borders hamper fight vs. extremists

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

IDs of men found shot in adjacent yards released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
DUI arrest is California Democrats’ latest blow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Couple charged in alleged odometer rollback scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Passengers leave trove at San Francisco airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawn removal in parched California draws fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Ice bucket challenge may change nonprofit world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Obama taking less vacation, but too much for some

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Days Obama, predecessors spent on vacation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Questions, answers about Missouri grand juries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Gov’t warns US retailers about hacking software

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberia has 1,000 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mosque attack kills 64 in Iraq, Sunnis halt talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
West condemns Russia over convoy to Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Boxer, Feinstein: Different routs in backing Israel

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A8

 
Somebody deserves to be fired

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

Ebola outbreak revives interest in ‘The Hot Zone’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Parole denied yet again for Lennon’s killer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Sports

Gray pitches into 9th, A’s top Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Avila remains undefeated after opponent throws in towel

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Offense struggles, Raiders fall to Packers 31-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Panik, Giants end Nationals’ 10-game win streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Harvick wins Bristol pole; 5th of this season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chevrolet wins IndyCar manufacturers championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Scott, Tringale tied for the lead at Barclays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ryu has 66, leads by 5 at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodes leads Boeing Classic by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Davis’ accomplishments still inspire despite loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Versatile Martin looks to earn 49ers roster spot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

US picks 12-man roster for basketball World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaney steals 1 from Kyle Busch on final restart

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Aug. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Fitbit to Schumer: We don’t sell personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Jell-O can’t stop slippery sales slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

At Jackson Hole, central bankers eye varying goals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Yellen: Job market makes Fed hesitant on rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Lawsuits challenge FAA drone, model aircraft rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Louise Loveall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra “Sandy” Caldwell Garton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Paul Nolin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

.

Home Seller 08/23/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.10 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3