Whittier, CA - August 22, 2023
The Whittier City Council meeting held on August 22, 2023, took on a somber tone as council members addressed the heartbreaking murder of 19-year-old Andrea Vazquez. In a display of unity, council members conveyed their condolences and shared their thoughts, emphasizing the strength of the community during this challenging time.
Councilmember Cathy Warner began by expressing gratitude to the Whittier Police Department for their swift and dedicated efforts in response to the tragedy. She stated, "I want to thank the Whittier Police Department yet again for their efforts over this last weekend. Involving the tragedy that occurred and thank them for their professional work in bringing things to the point that they are right now so very very quickly."
Councilmember Octavio Martinez extended his appreciation to the Whittier PD for their exemplary work in apprehending the suspect and holding him accountable. He also offered a message of solidarity with the Vazquez family, stating, "I would encourage my friends and family members who subscribe to one of the great Abrahamic faiths whether it is Christianity, Islam, or Judaism to hold the Vazquez family in prayer, that they would be bathed in peace and comforted during this difficult difficult time. And I also wish to also give our city a blessing and say God bless you and God bless the great city of Whittier."
However, it was Councilmember Jessica Martinez's poignant remarks that touched the hearts of many. She addressed the community with a heavy heart, struggling to hold back her emotions. "I would like to add to that, just the fact that I have a heart that's burdened with what happened over this weekend." Her voice quivered as she continued, "And her life was cut very very short. She was a beautiful young lady and I it just, it burdens me, that young people can do these types of things to each other... So let's continue as everyone else has already asked, to pray for those families that are involved and also to heal the hearts and the minds of young people who may fall into those same footsteps. We need people who will lift them up and help to heal their minds."
Councilmember Fernando Dutra, visibly affected by the tragedy, shared his perspective as a father of two daughters, reflecting on the pain that the Vazquez family must be enduring. He said, "I can't even imagine what the family is going through as a father... I can't even find the words to console a family that's going through the heartache, everyone, the heartache that they are going through."
While the Mayor, Joe Vinatieri, did not address the tragedy in his comments, the collective sentiment of the council members' remarks underscored the unity and compassion of the Whittier community during this trying time. As the community grieves and seeks solace, they stand together, supporting one another and honoring the memory of Andrea Vazquez.