Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teenager Died a Hero Reportedly Protecting Pregnant Sister from Boyfriend


Many teenage siblings have close friendships, but few of them will ever have to put their loyalty to the test to the degree 17-year-old Jesse Gutierrez did on Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona.

On Wednesday, Jesse’s pregnant sister, 18, and her 20-year-old boyfriend, Crispin Acevedo, got into an argument. According to police reports obtained by KSAZ-TV, Acevedo left the house but came back and got into another altercation.

Acevedo then reportedly started to choke his girlfriend, and Jesse got involved to try to stop him. Just before midnight, Acevedo allegedly shot Jesse, who later died at the hospital.

KPNX reported that Jesse’s father, John Gutierrez, was upset that the emergency response team didn’t get to the scene faster.

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“I feel like they didn’t do their job like they were supposed to,” Gutierrez told KPNX, adding that he thought it took them around half an hour to respond. “I feel like they could have gotten here faster.”

“When they got here, police said they had to clear the house. The paramedics wouldn’t come inside until police told them.”

“I kept yelling, ‘The guy is gone, I need a paramedic!’ I was performing CPR because I saw Jesse wasn’t breathing.”

According to the police department, the 911 call was placed at 11:58 p.m. and the first officer was there at 12:04. The ambulance got there at 12:03 and got to Jesse at 12:10 after the scene was declared safe.

Either way, the heroic brother and son passed away a short while later, and now the family is beginning to face life without Jesse.

“You can’t even describe the pain losing a son,” Jesse’s mother, Rocio Villa-Gutierrez, said.

“It’s a nightmare,” she added to KSAZ-TV. “Never imagined something like this. I still picture that in my head, [Gutierrez] coming out running and screaming trying to get help, but it was just ugly.”

The grieving mother said of Jesse’s heroism that “that’s what he would do for her or anyone or his other sisters,” according to KPNX.

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“I was the proudest mom,” she told KSAZ. “I couldn’t have asked for a better son. He was just like everything to me. He’s my boy. My baby.”

Jesse’s dad agreed, describing his son as a quiet kid who didn’t complain. Jesse even worked with him part time with his father, a plumber.

“For some reason, God blessed me with him,” Gutierrez told KPNX. “He was such a good kid. He wasn’t into gangs, he loved his family and friends.”

With help from his parents, the teen had just bought his first car, and his dad said they’ll be keeping it: “It’s not going nowhere, it’s going to stay right there.”

Forgiveness is a long way off for the family that so recently experienced tragedy. They understandably feel hurt and betrayed by Acevedo’s deadly actions.

“My son was only 17 years old,” Villa-Gutierrez told KSAZ. “He’s a little kid. He still had a full life ahead of him.”

“There’s so much for him to do out here, and he took him away from us, so yes,” she continued, speaking of her son’s killer. “I hate him. I do.”

While Jesse successfully protected his sister, he paid the ultimate price. Acevedo was arrested the next morning and has been accused of possession of a weapon while being prohibited, four counts of aggravated assault and second-degree murder.

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