At a growing curb-side memorial erected on Palm and Mulder streets in Lemon Grove where Omar Marquez Jr. took his final breath, songs and sadness filled the air Monday while family and friends reflected on the teenager's memory.
“It's just so crazy because he was so innocent, so sweet,” said his friend Fernanda. “The greatest personality and a big smile. To not see that anymore, it’s heartbreaking.”
Bella Cervantes said she'll never forget her 15-year-old friend's heart.
“He was always there for me as a friend when stuff went down," Bella said. "With certain personal stuff, he was there to support me and tell me everything would be fine."
Sadly, Omar will no longer be able to help comfort Bella and other friends.
Around 2 a.m. on Saturday, San Diego County Sheriff's investigators say, a gunman took Omar's life not far from his home in Lemon Grove.
“It just broke me,” Bella said. “I didn’t think it would impact me as much as it did, but it really did because he was a big part of my life.”
Omar had just finished his first year at Mt. Miguel High, where, his father said, he tried out for the football team. Family and friends said that fishing and playing video games were just a few of Omar’s hobbies.
“He wanted to be a millionaire," said Omar's father, who said making money was a big part of his son’s life.
That’s part of the reason why, he said, he was looking forward to taking his son to work with him more often this summer at his construction site.
“So he could open up and open his eyes to the real work-world and what it's about," said Omar’s dad.
Omar’s father didn't say what his son was doing outside at the time of the shooting; he only said it was a tragedy. For their part, Omar’s friends are struggling to understand while the search for the gunman continues.