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‘No mother should ever bury her son’: Family of 20-year-old J.P. man killed over pair of sneakers calls for justice

A GoFundMe campaign has raised over $60,000 for Bolivar del Jesus Soto, Jr.'s funeral.

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The family of a 20-year-old Jamaica Plain man, who was shot and killed last week in Hyde Park while trying to sell a pair of sneakers, wants justice for his death.

Bolivar del Jesus Soto, Jr., was killed around 10 p.m. on Nov. 16 near 18 Church St. after meeting a possible buyer for the shoes, Boston 25 News reports.

According to Soto’s older brother, Javier, the shooter attempted to give Soto counterfeit bills for the transaction.

“They argued and got into a fight,” he told the news station. “I think the kid had every intention of robbing my brother and his friend, he brought a gun. He obviously thought about the possible outcome.”

Police said officers found Soto suffering from a gunshot wound at the scene, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

Bolivar Soto had a passion for sneakers and was a member of various sneaker clubs, according to family members. He was popular and athletic, playing soccer and baseball.

He was slated to graduate from Bunker Hill Community College in May and planned on becoming a firefighter.

“No mother should ever bury her son,” his mother, Maria Guerrero Torres, told Boston 25 News.

In a memo to students, BHCC President Pam Eddinger wrote how Bolivar Soto was “full of talent and promise” and “shined as as a student,” according to the news outlet.

“We lost Bolivar to the plague of senseless gun violence that has decimated our communities, and especially our communities of color, and our young Black men,” Eddinger wrote. “Bolivar’s death was senseless and random. This plague of violence must not be normalized, and we use every tool as educators to bring understanding to hearts and minds that we must stop the violence, and stop losing our most precious gifts.”

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Torres, a mother of six, said she has felt numb since her son’s death. Funeral arrangements will be held this week, with visiting hours set for Tuesday night and a funeral scheduled for Wednesday morning at Lion of Judah Church on Northampton Street.

“I’m pleading to the Boston Police Department, and the D.A., please catch this person that did this to my son before he does it to someone else,” Torres said.

She also warned others who may find themselves in a similar situation as her son.

“If you are going to do any business, go to the police station, where there are cameras, and don’t go to dark places,” Torres told Boston 25 News.

A GoFundMe campaign was launched days after Bolivar Soto’s death to help his family cover funeral expenses.

“Bolivar was full of life and happiness,” a post on the page reads. “He touched the lives of many with his spirit. His smile and his laugh were contagious and he radiated nothing but positivity. A pure soul that gave every ounce of love he had in him.

“This GoFundMe is for any expenses our family will endure in the process of laying Bolivar to rest,” the post continues. “No donation is too small or too big. We wanted this so that those who knew Bolivar have a chance to offer their support however they see fit. Whether it be paying their respects in person or with a donation. Everything is appreciated no matter what.”

As of Tuesday morning, donations totaled over $65,000, surpassing the effort’s $50,000 goal.

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Anyone with information about the shooting that took Bolivar Soto’s life is asked to contact Boston police homicide detectives at 617 343-4470. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting “TIP” to 27463.

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