After two teenage boys were recently charged with the murder of two men inside Papa Potrero’s Pizza in September, the mother of one of the victims said she would leave it up to God to judge and punish those responsible for taking her son’s life.
“God is the ultimate judge,” said Francisco Peña’s mother Thursday morning after she learned of the charges against the two boys, aged 15 and 17.
Peña, 41, and Francisco Cornejo, 26 were shot and killed in a brawl inside the pizza establishment. A third victim was injured.
Police have said the shooting was gang-related but the victims’ family and friends maintain that neither was a gang member.
Both teenagers were charged with murder in juvenile court on Dec. 18. Their names have not been released.
The 17-year-old was arrested, along with Andres Siordia, 19, shortly after the shooting near 24th and Potrero streets. The 15-year-old was apprehended in December.
Siordia, who has pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder and one charge of attempted murder, is scheduled to appear before a judge Friday.
“I have left all of that up to God,” said Peña’s mother, sitting in her living room surrounded by family pictures, including an 8-by-10-inch photo of Peña in a red jersey. She does not want to be identified.
She is not planning to attend any court hearings.
“I don’t want to see their faces in case they’re let out free. I don’t want to have to see them around,” she said in Spanish.
Louis Lucero, one of Frank Peña’s friends, said he had not been aware of the recent murder charges against the teens but is hopeful that it means justice will be done.
“I’m glad that they have somebody,” Lucero said in a phone interview.
Peña’s mother said the holidays have been difficult without her son.
“What can I say?” she said, wiping tears.