This Feb. 4 marks 5 years. Five years now since my son Matthew was shot (in Yuba City) by some teenagers as he was walking in the other direction. He was only 15 years old. My entire world was shattered that day. This is something I can never move on from or get over. It’s something I just have to push through every single day.

I came to the realization that the people responsible may never be caught. I may never know who pulled the trigger that day and why he thought it was OK to end someone’s life while his life continues. I hope whoever it was one day has kids of his own. That when his son turns 15 he looks at him and remembers the life he took and realizes the pain he caused to me and my family.

As if killing my son wasn’t enough I have had to deal with people stealing and vandalizing not just the spot where my son was killed but also his gravesite at the cemetery. Now, despite what anyone thinks, Matthew was not involved with any gang. But that shouldn’t matter. That is the lowest and most disrespectful thing a person can do besides taking someone else’s life. I wish they would just let my son rest in peace already. 

I do apologize, this letter ended up being nothing like I planned. I’m not sure what exactly I’m trying to say. People really need to start parenting their kids. 

I hope one day that I learn who killed my son, that he gets justice, that those who are vandalizing his headstone and grave site stop and just leave us alone already. Or maybe I’m just trying to say that no matter what I’m always gonna be around to remind people that Matthew was here. That he always will be because I will not let him be forgotten.


Carina Michelle Mendoza

(Matt’s Mom)

(Matthew F. Gonzales: 5/31/2000 – 2/4/2016.)

Write us and share your views

We publish letters to the editor that follow these guidelines: 

• 400 words or less. 

• We reserve the right to edit all letters for length, libel, clarity, accuracy, grammar and punctuation. 

• Include your name, signature, street address and telephone number.

• The full text of our guidelines is at 

• Mail: The Open Forum, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901. 

Recommended for you