After tree-planting ceremony, family of slain Lorain teen demands justice

Family searching for answers in the murder of a Lorain teen

LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - Nearly three months after the shooting death of Aaron Vasquez, no one has been indicted for the crime. His family is still devastated.

“He was a good boy,” Eduardo Vasquez, Aaron’s father, said, while holding back tears. “Me and him were really close—he was my first born son.”

This tree was planted in front of Summit Academy Secondary on October 22nd in honor of Aaron Vasquez. The 16-year-old was shot and killed July 25th.
This tree was planted in front of Summit Academy Secondary on October 22nd in honor of Aaron Vasquez. The 16-year-old was shot and killed July 25th. (Source: Steven Hernandez)

Friends and family members gathered at Summit Academy Secondary to plant a tree in Aaron’s honor.

“It’ll grow to be beautiful," Ida Vasquez, Aaron’s grandmother, said. “Just memories of life that he could’ve had.”

Authorities found Aaron on July 25 unresponsive with a gunshot wound on the 500 block of Washington Avenue. He was taken to Mercy Health Trauma Center, where he died.

Since then, the Vasquez family has demanded justice for the 16-year-old boy. Eduardo explains that the suspected killer was arrested, but was later released.

“They found him, but they said they didn’t have enough evidence,” he said. “Basically, they’re on the streets right now.”

Two other men, 20-year-old Benjamin William Decost Jr. and 21-year-old Dale Maurice Johnson were arrested and charged with complicity to felonious assault. However, according to court records from the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, the cases against both men were dismissed.

“The court system works in funny ways sometimes, I guess,” Eduardo said. “Some of it doesn’t make sense to me.”

The Vasquez family explained that authorities are still investigating forensic evidence from the shooting. The family plans to wait, as hard as they can, for anything that can link those responsible to the death of Aaron.

“We’re just going to trust the system right now and hopefully we come out with a good result and get the justice that he [Aaron] deserves,” Nicole Cromer, Aaron’s aunt, explained.

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