A young woman shot and killed near a gas station in Fallbrook Thursday was a happy, driven person trying to distance herself from a “toxic” relationship, her family told NBC 7.
Yesenia Becerril, 20, was gunned down along the 1100 block of South Vine Street near South Main Avenue at around 12:45 a.m. Thursday. Detectives believe the young woman’s ex-boyfriend, Oscar Rodas, 27, allegedly fired the shots that took her life.
As of Friday afternoon, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) was still searching for Rodas in connection with the killing.
NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 spoke with Becerril’s aunt and cousins Friday who described her as a caring person who was attending college, studying and trying to make something of her life.
She could also light up a room.
“She was an angel,” said Becerril’s aunt, Rosa Vasquez. “Wherever she went, she brought happiness. She never liked to see anybody sad. She was like my daughter.”
“She was always smiling. She wanted to make other people around her smile,” her cousin, Christina Nuñez, added. “She was a very good person who never wanted to do harm to anyone. She just wanted to live her life.”
Both Vasquez and Nuñez said Becerril had recently broken up with Rodas, but that’s not what he wanted. The pair had been dating for about six years, the aunt said.
“She only wanted to study, and didn’t want to have a boyfriend,” Vasquez explained.
Nuñez said Becerril always kept details of her relationship with Rodas private and never liked to talk about him with anyone close to her. This was concerning for the family, who said Rodas had gotten more aggressive and controlling over the years.
“It was a very toxic and abusive relationship,” said Nuñez.
The shooting of Becerril prompted several calls to 911. When deputies arrived at the scene, the victim was lying on the ground, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
SDSO homicide Lt. Rich Williams said several witnesses had stopped to help Becerril while paramedics arrived. Witnesses told NBC 7 the victim was shot once and then started running toward the gas station, where she was shot for a second time.
The victim was taken to a local hospital where she died around 2 a.m. Hours later, detectives identified Rodas as the suspect in the deadly shooting.
The untimely death of Becerril has left her family shattered. Vasquez said Becerril’s mother is “destroyed,” unable to understand why her daughter’s life was taken.
"She wants her girl," Vasquez said, sobbing. "I don’t know what my sister is going to do."
The family has created an online fundraising account to help Becerril’s family cover funeral expenses. To donate, click here.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this case can reach out to the SDSO’s Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 or (858) 565-5200, or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.