A young man was stabbed to death in front of a 7-11 parking lot in Santa Cruz, California. Tyler Tenorio was sixteen at the time of his death on October 16th around 10 p.m.
Friends of Tyler Tenorio (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)
More than 300 people gather on Laurel Street Friday evening to voice their opposition to gang violence and to remember Tyler Tenorio. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)
The Santa Cruz Sentinel
What was conjecture of the locals the day prior has become an issue of major concern for the District Attorney and the police department.
Was Tyler representing gang membership or making a claim to belong to a gang surrounding the time of his death?
Those like myself who read the original article published in The Sentinel on this tragedy saw this element of the story coming ahead of time.
I don’t wish to cause anyone to be troubled but in my estimation Tyler, and likely his friends as well, were representing themselves as being in a gang called “Westside” that associates with the color red and is local to this side of Santa Cruz.
The history of “Westside” is not my focus here, but it is a gang that is mainly people claiming to belong to it and has very few (if any) actual members beyond teenagers wearing colors.
It is my contention that Tyler Tenorio was wearing red clothing, and having his shirts pressed by his mom, because he wished to be associated with a local gang that would never seek recrimination upon those who falsely claim to belong to it.
This is a very common occurrence in Santa Cruz youth, to claim to be part of “Westside”.
This case underlines the need to be aware of what our children and our friends are doing around us.
There is another element I feel I should touch upon as well.
There is a possibly that this tragedy was not as strongly related to gang affiliation of any sort, but rather was a case of prideful arrogance boiling into sheer violence on behalf of both parties.
The entire scene of violence could have been avoided if only Tyler had chosen to keep driving and avoid the confrontation itself.
It is within reason to assume that this young man is dead because of man-pride and the need to prove yourself right at the end of a fist.
After the shouting, the driver pulled the car onto Myrtle Street, parked and Tenorio and his friends got out. One friend told police he was angry and got out to fight, according to the court document.
I was not present for this event. I can only read news reports and hear what people have to say around town about it. But based on what I know it is a possibility that this senseless death was fueled by the arrogance of the young men in both parties, or it also possible that this was a gangland stabbing that involved a false gang member being stabbed by a real gang member who assumed that other was affiliated.