Seventeen-year-old Raymond Lang was shot and killed by a neighbor last Tuesday after being confronted by the man on his street in the Lomita neighborhood of San Diego. Witnesses say Ruben Tadepa, 44, had threatened Lang and his friends on Monday with a BB gun when they were skating near his car. Tadepa’s sixteen-year-old son was among them, and none were surprised when he appeared the following evening at about 5:15 p.m. with a rifle. When they realized it was a .22 caliber rifle, they ran to a neighbor’s home for cover. When Lang came outside shortly thereafter on his way home, Tadepa confronted him in the street. According to witnesses, he then shot Lang three times in the chest at close range.
When Lang’s thirteen-year-old brother Kenny ran outside, Tadepa threatened him with the rifle as well. Lang, who lived just a few houses from Tadepa, lay motionless in his driveway. William Huffman ran outside to find his stepson’s body, and was joined by Lang’s mother, Caray Huffman, and her parents. The group consoled one another as friends and neighbors began gathering at the scene. Some said they heard as many as twelve gunshots.
By the time police arrived, Tadepa had driven away, but returned after a few minutes. Police took cover behind a parked car and instructed Tadepa to put his weapon down. He refused and raised it at them. Officers immediately fired at him, and Tadepa surrendered. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder.
Paramedics on the scene were unable to revive Lang, who was pronounced dead.
Tadepa is reported to have had previous run-ins with area skateboarders who frequently skated in front of his house, but all were shocked by the incident. Lang’s stepfather had spoken to Tadepa on Monday about scaring the kids with his BB gun, but Tadepa told him he wouldn’t hurt the kids and only wanted to keep them from skating near his car.
Lang, a junior at Morse High School, was described as a good student whose primary interests were skateboarding, drama class, and computers.
Tadepa was arraigned on Friday, where he plead not guilty. The judge ordered him to stand trial without bail, citing that Tadepa is a threat to the community and may flee.
A memorial fund has been set up through Lang’s church:Raymond Lang Memorial Fund
c/o Casa De Oro Baptist Church
10195 Madrid Way
Spring Valley, CA 91977
Checks should be made out to Casa De Oro Baptist Church, yet earmarked for the RaymondLang Memorial Fund. The board of trustees at the church will be handling the funds to cover the expenses of Raymond’s burial. Pastor Alan Ernst can be reached via phone or e-mail for further inquiries: [email protected].
Sunday, December 3, from noon to 7:00 p.m. there will be a public viewing atConrad Mortuary, 7387 Broadway, Lemon Grove, CA. Phone: (619) 460-4601 All are invited to attend.
Tuesday, December 5 at 11:00 a.m. a graveside burial service takes place at Greenwood Memorial Park, 4300 Imperial Ave., San Diego, CA 92102 (Park is visible from I-805 at Imperial Ave.). All are invited to attend.
Tuesday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m. a memorial service will be held at Casa DeOro Baptist Church to honor and remember Raymond. All are invited toattend.