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'If you know, you need to talk': Family speaks out after 15-year-old's unsolved murder

Joshua Saldivar family.png
Posted at 10:44 PM, Sep 10, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — "He was a very smart child and he liked to dance a lot and have fun like every other young person. He liked to play soccer. He was hard working and worked a lot. He helped his dad and I. He was very polite with everyone."

Those are the words of Maria Hernandez, the mother of 15-year-old Joshua Saldivar, who was fatally shot in the back three weeks ago Sunday.

2 News spoke to his family Sunday afternoon.

Hernandez and his father, Jose Rigoberto Saldivar, said their son had a big work ethic and an even bigger heart.

He often found labor jobs to help support his family.

"That's why we don't understand why he had to go, when there are so many bad people in the world and the good ones are the ones to go," said his brother, who chose to remain unnamed for this story.

He said the East Central High School freshman wasn't even planning to attend a house party in west Tulsa August 19, but was convinced to go by a few friends who took him.

Tulsa Police told 2 News in the early hours of the next day a riot broke out at the party, causing more than 100 people - most of them teens - to flee and shots to be fired.

Members of Saldivar's family said they weren't informed of his death until they themselves searched hospitals and contacted police after he didn't come home that night.

They learned he was shot on West Archer street as he was trying to leave the party with friends. One friend, a 16-year-old, was shot in the arm but survived.

"We say with all our hearts (the shooter) left a family completely destroyed," Hernandez said.

"We miss him. This is something we wouldn't wish to anyone."

2 News asked TPD for updates to the case Sept. 7 and Sept. 8, but were told the lead detective was not available and no suspects had been named, despite the large amount of people who were at the party.

Saldivar's family said they have been left in the dark since early in the investigation.

"(Investigators) haven't told us anything," Saldivar's father said. "Maybe next week we'll go to the police and they'll tell us something because so far they haven't told us anything at all."

A discontinued GoFundMe set up in Joshua's memory raised more than $3,600 for which the family said they're grateful.

But at this point, they prefer answers.

"We want justice. We want to know who harmed him," his brother said.

"Because today it was my son, but tomorrow it could be any other in a similar situation," Hernandez said. "Because that person is free doing who knows what."

Tulsa Police ask that anyone with information, photos, or videos that may help in Joshua Saldivar's killing please call or text Tulsa Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.

You can remain anonymous and even earn a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --