Candles flickered in the night, reflecting off pictures of a young dark haired girl. A woman holding rosary beads sang a song in Spanish. People shared stories of a life taken to soon.
At a Saturday night vigil at Lindbergh Park in Clairemont, there was the unmistakable anguish of a heartbroken family.
"The hardest part is we're not going to be able to see her anymore," said Karla Mendez, a cousin of 15-year-old Joanna Vargas. "A special person like that, that you're not going to be able to see again, it really hurts."
Family and friends gathered at a makeshift memorial site, built in the exact location where Vargas was shot and killed early Friday Morning. San Diego police detectives believe it to be a random shooting. Vargas had left her home several blocks away, without her mother knowing, and was with a cousin and their 19-year-old boyfriends at the time of the shooting.
Missing from the vigil was Vargas' mother, who family said was too distraught, "in total shock". The family is struggling to find answers.
"This was the first time she ever did something wrong," said Mendez. "She was always in the house, always smiling."
Friends recalled a young lady who liked to laugh and would light up a room.
"She was always laughing, she was the one that brought joy to our school," said a former classmate named Brenda. "She got along well with everyone, didn't have any enemies, no drama."
The family says funeral arrangements will be planned for next week.