Family seeks help in finding alleged killer

first_imgVALINDA – Erik Huerta Oct. 12. It was the 23-year-old’s last meal. A man got into a fight with four friends outside Jim’s Burgers on East Amar Road in Valinda and during the fracas, Huerta was fatally stabbed. “He was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Huerta’s father, Antonio. Now the Huerta family is asking for the public’s help in finding the alleged killer, 22-year-old Richard Provencio, a parolee and a local gang member with the moniker “Sneeks.” Detectives said the suspect might have mistaken Huerta and his friends for members of a rival gang. “Their son wasn’t a gang member and I don’t think any of the boys he was with are gang members,” said Sgt. Mitch Loman of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau. “We’re looking for the guy (Provencio) for questioning.” Deputies haven’t determined yet who started the fight, he added. The stabbing happened as Huerta and his friends were leaving the restaurant. Provencio was on the pay phone and approached the four men, Loman said. A fight broke out. The injured Huerta got into a pickup truck, drove a couple of blocks and passed out, Loman said. Huerta was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Provencio was picked up by others in a vehicle, deputies said. The knife hasn’t been found yet. Huerta’s mother, Sandra, visits twice a day the altar she set up in the family garage. On the altar stands a picture of Jesus along with photos of her son, family and friends. There also lies his jacket, his helmet and the paychecks he earned since he got out of high school. “It’s hard, very hard,” Sandra Huerta said. “He was my baby.” Huerta came from a family with four children. The Huertas moved to Valinda in 1987 and steered their boys into sports at a young age to keep them away from the local gangs. Erik and his twin, Tony, were on Workman High School’s . Erik was featured in the local paper for pitching a perfect game, his father said. It never crossed his mind his family would become victims of gang violence. “We never had problems with him getting into fights,” Antonio Huerta said. The family says they are not angry. “Why should I be angry?” said Huerta’s sister, Karla. “I say God will punish him (the killer). His day will come.” Provencio hangs out in La Puente, Valinda and West Covina, deputies said. He stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. Anyone with information about the case should call Loman or Detective Jonas Shipe of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323)890-5500. decided to get a bite to eat with friends baseball team [email protected] (626)962-8811, Ext. 2718 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img