Nearly 100 people gathered Friday night to honor Marco Antonio Alvizo outside the apartment complex where he was killed less than 48 hours earlier.
Alvizo was a hard-working 24-year-old who loved his family and would do anything for his two children — a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy — family members said Friday night. Stephanie Henriquez, 21, said Alvizo would have jumped in front of a bullet for her and their two children.
“He took care of us; he loved us so much,” Henriquez said through tears, adding that she doesn’t know how to tell her 3-year-old daughter that Alvizo is dead.
The Clark County coroner’s office on Friday said Alvizo, of Las Vegas, died from a shotgun wound to the head, and his death was ruled a homicide.
Jail and court records show that no arrests had been made in his death as of Friday. Las Vegas police have said they are looking for at least three men believed to be in their 20s, but have not released a detailed description of the shooters.
Just before 2:45 a.m. Thursday, a woman answered a knock at the door of an apartment unit at the Viridian Apartments, 4255 W. Viking Road, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
As she opened the door, three men wearing hoodies pushed past her and entered the apartment, at which point one of them shot Alvizo as he slept in the living room.
The trio ran from the complex before officers arrived.
No other details have been released, including a possible motive.
Family on Friday night described Alvizo as a “joyous” and lovable man. He worked as a cook at the Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and toyed with the idea of becoming a tattoo artist.
His sister, 25-year-old Angelica Sanchez, said Alvizo “had so many goals that he wanted to do.”
“Who hurt him?” Sanchez questioned, her hands and voice shaking. “He didn’t deserve to die like that. He should not have died like that.”
The large crowd stood in the street, gathered around a few dozen candles and framed pictures of Alvizo that were leaned against the complex’s parking lot wall. The sound of children playing across the street could be heard over a woman holding a rosary, leading a group prayer in Spanish.
No one in the family lives at the complex, but family members believe Alvizo was at a friend’s home when he was shot, Frances Hampton said.
Hampton, who is Alvizo’s mother’s cousin, said the family took it into their own hands to find answers about the shooting. Family members have been asking neighbors questions about what they heard, because there’s little hope that Alvizo’s killing will be solved by local police, Hampton said.
“So you put the mix of him being a Hispanic male, and someone who has associations with maybe being incarcerated before — where’s the incentive to care about that?” Hampton said.
Court records show that a Marco Alvizo has been arrested five times in Clark County. He was convicted of felony attempted theft and being a prohibited person attempting to own a gun, and misdemeanors for destroying property and drug charges.
One of Alvizo’s family members who addressed the crowd during the vigil said Alvizo was turning his life around. Less than a month before his death, Alvizo graduated from a court program that aims to reduce recidivism, court records show.
Hampton said that since Alvizo’s death, his family has had to learn details about the shooting from watching the news. She said they are frustrated with a lack of information from police.
“We want justice; we want something done,” she said. “His kids are going to be raised without their father in the same system that he’s been trying to survive.”
Alvizo’s family set up a GoFundMe on Saturday to help pay for funeral expenses.
Anyone with information about the shooting may call Metro’s homicide section at 702-828-3521 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.