19-year-old Fil-Am killed during carjacking in San Mateo, California

Ashly Tianson, 19, died after being shot in the torso during a carjacking in San Mateo, California.  | Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

A FILIPINO American teenager was shot and killed while reportedly protecting his girlfriend from a group of carjackers in San Mateo, California last week.

Officers were dispatched to the San Mateo Adult School at 789 E Poplar Avenue at about 8:58 p.m. on Friday, May 14, according to the city’s police department.

The victim was identified as 19-year-old Ashly Tianson, who was found by officers in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle, suffering from a shot in the torso. He was transported to a local trauma center where he succumbed to his injuries.

“Through the investigation, SMPD detectives learned this was an isolated incident, one which was not associated or related to any activity or event at The San Mateo Adult School or San Mateo High School,” read the police report.

In the GoFundMe launched by the victim’s family, it said that Tianson — also known as “A.T.” and “Yhuky” — was reportedly picking up his girlfriend when the incident happened.

“On the night of May 14, [Tianson] got off from work as a security guard at the V.A. Hospital and picked up his girlfriend around 8 p.m. They were sitting in his car when 3 people approached his vehicle trying to steal his car,” the page read.

It added that Tianson shielded his girlfriend with his body after one of the suspects pulled out a gun.

“They shot him twice, first in the side of his abdomen and another on his neck. His girlfriend was unharmed. Unfortunately, [Tianson] didn’t survive,” the page said.

The SMPD has identified and located two of the suspects — a 16-year-old from San Mateo and a 16-year-old from Menlo Park. Both of them have been booked into Hillcrest Juvenile Hall and are facing charges of homicide, attempted homicide, and conspiracy.

The investigation is still ongoing.

“Words cannot express how devastated my family is right now. We’re angry, we’re sad, we’re in disbelief, and we want justice for [Tianson],” Tianson’s family wrote on the GoFundMe page.

“This unexpected and senseless act could’ve happened to anyone’s friend, boyfriend, brother, or son. He didn’t have life insurance because what mother expects her son’s life to be cut short at 19 years,” they added.

Tianson was described by his family as “a special young man with a positive attitude.” He was also “selfless and generous, spending his paycheck on others before he spent it on himself.”


In 2008, Tianson and his mother immigrated from the Philippines to the United States for a better life. They lived in the Quezon City area, according to his mother’s Facebook page.

“[Tianson] graduated from high school just last year and had his whole life ahead of him. He had plans to join the army but decided to stay and help pay for household expenses. He leaves behind a mother, a father, and three siblings,” the page read.

The GoFundMe page, which was launched to help with the funeral expenses, has since garnered over $35,000 since it was created.

Anyone with information related to the shooting is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Kurt Rodenspiel at (650) 522-7662 or krodenspiel@cityofsanmateo.org. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling (650) 522-7676.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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