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‘Everyone loved him’: Shattered family mourns death of Arizona teen fatally shot a day after birthday

Stephen Benito Jacobo, who had just turned 18, was shot by another teenager when he asked him why he was carrying a gun
UPDATED NOV 10, 2022
Stephen Benito Jacobo was fatally shot by another teenager a day after his birthday (GoFundMe)
Stephen Benito Jacobo was fatally shot by another teenager a day after his birthday (GoFundMe)

MESA, ARIZONA: A family is devastated by the tragic death of their son who was shot and killed just a day after his birthday.

Stephen Benito Jacobo, 18, was shot on Sunday, November 6, at the Emelita Place apartment complex near Southern Avenue and Dobson Road after he questioned a teenager for carrying a firearm. The Mesa police department identified Jacobo as a victim of the shooting on Monday, November 7.


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An eyewitness told the bereaved family that the incident took place after Jacobo asked another teenager why he had a gun amongst friends at a small gathering at the apartment complex. The witness added that the teenager randomly started shooting and a bullet hit and killed Jacobo, as per Dakota News.

Jacobo’s parents, who pray they can get through this ordeal, said they were grateful that people were coming forward to help them. “I have God, I got my family and my boys, and the support from all of my loved ones will get me through the hard times,” Jacobo's mother Alma Antolin reportedly said.


His father Mark and Antolin remember him as being the bright light in the room and the life of the party. “He loved music; he loved dancing with his brother Dominic,” said Mark. Antolin said he was a young bright man, who loved music. “Everyone loved him. He was always so happy, his smile was so infectious, was always dancing and joking, and he made such a big impression on everyone he came in contact with,” she said.

Now, the family is remembering the good times Jacobo had, and the messages of support from the community were helping too. “Stephen was loved so much, and it makes me feel good to see all of the support,” Antolin said.

Their family has set up a GoFundMe page to help them with the funeral expenses. The community will also release ballons in his memory at Red Mountain High School at 4 pm on Thursday, November 10. Police said said that so far, no arrests have been made.

This incident highlights a sudden rise in gun crimes in Arizona. In September, a teenager was shot and killed on 19th Avenue and Mountain View Road at a group home for people between the ages of 16 and 20. A 17-year-old was arrested in connection to the shooting for suspicion of aggravated assault and related weapon charges.