“Everyone loved him:” Mesa family mourns loss of teen killed day after birthday

A family in Arizona is remembering their son after they say he was killed by another teen in a shooting. (Source: Arizona's Family)
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 5:07 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An East Valley family is heartbroken after their teenager was shot and killed just a day after his birthday. Witnesses told his family that a teenager was shooting randomly after the victim questioned why he had a gun. It happened at Emelita Place apartment complex near Southern Avenue and Dobson Road on Nov. 6.

Stephen Benito Jacobo was identified as the victim by Mesa police on Monday afternoon. Jacobo is remembered as a young 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,” said Alma Antolin, Jacobo’s mother.

His parents, Mark Jacobo and Alma 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 Jacobo. Witnesses told Jacobo’s family that the shooting happened after Jacobo questioned another teenager why he had a gun amongst friends at a small gathering at the apartment complex. Witnesses told the family that the teenager started shooting randomly, and a bullet hit and killed Jacobo.

His parents are grateful that people came forward and spoke out but are devastated their son is gone. Now, they’re leaning on faith to get them through this tough situation. “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,” said Antolin.

Now, the family is remembering the good times Stephen had, and the messages of support from the community are helping too. “I knew he was good, but the support, the amount I’ve seen him touch lives,” said Jacobo. “Stephen was loved so much, and it makes me feel good to see all of the support,” added Antolin.

So far no one has been arrested for the shooting. Jacobo’s family and friends are holding a balloon release in his honor at Red Mountain High School at 4 p.m. on Thursday. If you would like to help them with funeral expenses, click/tap here.