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300 Mourn 15-Year-Old Killed Near Scene of Burglary Attempt

November 04, 1986

More than 300 mourners attended funeral services Monday for 15-year-old David Gallardo, who was shot and killed last week, apparently while fleeing the scene of an attempted burglary in Costa Mesa.

The youth's casket was wheeled into St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa as Gallardo's friends, many of whom sobbed and hugged one another, tried to make sense out of the incident.

"He wasn't a hard-core criminal or anything. He just made a mistake," said Alex Correa, 15.

Detectives and prosecutors have declined to discuss many aspects of the shooting, including the identity of the man who allegedly saw Gallardo and another youth trying to steal wheel parts from a car outside a repair shop shortly after midnight Wednesday.

Shop manager Russ Williams has said that the man, a friend, fired unintentionally after Gallardo and a companion, Thomas Ramirez, 16, attempted to drive away. When the car moved forward, Williams said, the shotgun struck a window post and accidentally discharged, fatally wounding Gallardo in the head.

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