Surrey shooting victim’s family thanks homicide investigators

Mom and sister of José Luna, who was murdered in 2010, present IHIT with plaque before returning to El Salvador.

Jacqueline Luna Morales

Jacqueline Luna Morales

They traveled from El Salvador to Canada and sat through weeks of often-troubling and heart-wrenching court testimony.

But they did it for José.

And when his killer was found guilty of murder earlier this month, José’s mother Vilma Morales De Luna and sister Jacqueline Luna Morales knew they had one more stop to make before returning to Central America.

Lester Oseguera was convicted of second-degree murder in José Luna’s death by a jury in New Westminster Supreme Court on May 10.

A week later, Vilma and Jacqueline met with IHIT (Integrated Homicide Investigation Team) officers, bringing with them many tears of thanks, as well as a hand-crafted plaque featuring a Mayan God image.

“My brother had dreams he thought would come true in Canada and it was hard to say good-bye when he left,” said Jacqueline, who was José’s only sibling. “When we got the news of his death we couldn’t believe it, it has been very difficult. We decided to come to Canada and be there in court as we needed to find closure and heal. The way IHIT has investigated this has helped us get the peace we have now.”

José Luna was shot to death by Oseguera in the house they shared in Surrey on Aug. 30, 2010. Luna had come to Canada a year-and-a-half earlier to fulfill his hopes and dreams, said his family, and was working as a painter.

Two years later, his mom still finds it difficult to talk about his death, but wanted to express her gratitude to police.

“I am thankful for this outcome and thankful for the police officers. I am satisfied that we have justice now but that does not bring my son home,” said Vilma.

José’s uncle Mateo Hernandez also sat through the lengthy court proceedings, which began in mid-April, with this family. He said it helped to hear Oseguera, who claimed he shot José accidently, apologize.

“For my family this was special because it helped us to understand that Lester felt pain for his actions and this was nothing against [José]. It helped us to understand why.”

Inspector Kevin Hackett, Officer in Charge of IHIT, said in a press release that such support from families is what drives investigators.

“Our investigative teams at IHIT gain a great deal of motivation and encouragement by the relationships that are developed with the victim’s families and it helps us accomplish and succeed in our day to day duties,” he said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A heavy police presence was on scene on Dec. 28, 2017 following the shooting death on Bates Road in Abbotsford of Alexander Blanarou, 24, of Surrey. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Three men charged with Abbotsford shooting death of Surrey man

Alexander Blanarou, 24, was killed in a rural area on Dec. 28, 2017

A criminal trial for Robert Boule (inset), the owner of the Smuggler’s Inn, is to begin in August 2021, following a failed application to strike down immigration-act provisions that he is charged under. (Photo courtesy of The Northern Light newspaper)
Blaine inn owner’s challenge of immigration act fails

Robert Boule’s trial on human-smuggling charges set to begin August 2021

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Mirandy Tracy, left, and Tara Kurtz are two Langley mothers who are organizing a "sick out" for Tuesday, Dec. 1 to protest COVID conditions in schools. They're calling for masks and smaller class sizes, among other things. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Politician, labour leader throw support behind student Sick Out day

Langley parents started the movement to keep kids home on Dec. 1 as a protest

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Christmas tree season is off to an early start

People are ‘bored’ with staying home due to COVID-19 and want to decorate early, farm owner believes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A convoy of seven pickup trucks, six of which were hauling boats, makes its way around the Chilliwack Law Courts on Dec. 1, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
First court date for Fraser River anglers ticketed during demonstration fishery

Convoy of trucks circled the courthouse in downtown Chilliwack Tuesday honking their support

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read