Grieving father pleads with parents to help stop gang violence

KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports

Marcos Sandoval tries hard to hold it together, but sometimes the heartbreak is too much.

"I spent most of my day yesterday in David's room just thinking and crying," he says, wiping away tears. "The pain doesn't go away."

Marcos's son David was shot and killed two weeks ago by an alleged gang member who mistook David for a member of a rival gang.

14-year-old David Sandoval was an athlete, a volunteer at a neighborhood non-profit and a caring soul.

But when he came across a 13-year-old with a gun, he was just a kid wearing the wrong color shoes.

Marcos says his son worked hard to stay out of the gang life.

"We talked to each other. He opened up to me and told me he's going to stay out of trouble because he knows it's not worth it," said Marcos.

Trouble, though, tends to find too many young people who live along Everett's Casino Road.

There have been three shootings in the neighborhood in the past two months.  Authorities count 56 gang-related shootings across Snohomish County over the past two years, alone.

Marcos believes the solution needs to start at home.

"Parents, they need to get involved," he says. "They need to wake up. They need to look for help if they're having problems with their kids because it's out there."

Marcos plans to honor his son by telling his story to students and parents.

His message: You don't have to be a gang member to fall victim to its violence, and the only people who can stop it are parents who have everything to lose.

"Sometimes I feel like life doesn't make sense anymore because he was my best friend," says Marcos. "We have to stop this monster that is killing our children."

© 2017 KING-TV


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