Juan Gutierrez and Maricela Honorato: California couple killed in car parking dispute
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA: In another shocking instance of gun violence, a California-based couple was shot dead by a driver during an argument over a parking spot. The incident happened in Long Beach around 8 pm on September 4, when 44-year-old Maricela Honorato and her boyfriend Juan Guizar-Gutierrez, 39, were returning from a fishing trip. They were just outside their Long Beach apartment when the dispute over the parking spot broke out. Later, Honorato succumbed to the bullet wounds in her daughter's arms while Gutierrez was already shot dead before that.
In a conversation with Los Angeles Times, a heartbroken Tania Turcios recalled the horrifying ordeal that took the life of her mother. On Saturday evening, she was studying at home when she heard loud noises outside. Initially, she mistook it for fireworks but she was soon informed by neighbors that her mother and her boyfriend were shot. As she sprinted outside, she found Honorato and Gutierrez both lying in pools of their own blood.
Narrating the incident, Tania shared, "I saw Juan in a pool of blood; he looked dead, and then I ran to my mom and held her. She had this gaze in her eyes, and she was desperate. I told my mom I loved her," she continued, "She wanted to speak but couldn't, and that was the last time I saw her before the ambulance took her away. It was traumatizing."
Maricela Honorato had been a single mother to Tania before she met Juan Guizar-Gutierrez and found happiness with him. The couple resided together in Long Beach along with Honorato's daughter. On the fateful evening of September 4, they found their parking space was curtailed as there was a party going on at a neighbor's house. As the couple tried to find somewhere to park their car, an argument ensued with the suspect.
According to Maricela's sister Maria Honorato, "They parked in the middle of the street because there was no parking and there was another driver on the other side, in the back of them honking and… telling them to move or whatever. And then it just escalated so quick."
"They shot my brother-in-law first and my sister came out screaming, saying, "Oh my God, they shot him, they shot him," and the person shot her too. How can somebody just take lives like that, two lives, innocent lives, over a parking spot," she said. Currently, the case is under investigation and police are trying to identify and nab the accused. Meanwhile, Honorato's sister Maria has started a GoFundMe for raising the funeral expenses of Maricela and Juan. The campaign raised $10,205 out of its $30,000 goal at the time of writing this story.