Loved ones marched the streets of City Heights demanding justice for the broad daylight killing of 14-year-old Enrique Medina.
Medina died Sunday after a group of men approached him and one of the men fired at him, according to the San Diego Police Department. The teen, who recently graduated from Clark Middle School, in City Heights, was walking in a residential area when he was approached by the group around 1:30 p.m., police said. Paramedics arrived at Polk Avenue and 37th Street to perform CPR, but Medina did not survive.
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Tuesday night's march started at Medina's home near Modesto Street in the Azalea-Hollywood Park neighborhood. Many of the marchers were friends of Medina's, who carried candles, signs and heavy hearts. They chanted "We want justice!" as they made their way made their way to the site where Medina was shot.
Medina was also adored by his teachers, including his 6th-grade art teacher Patricia Steele.
"It broke my heart knowing that someone so compassionate toward people is no longer able to share that," Steele said. "Every day he would come and say hi to me -- go out of his way to come where my classroom was."
Steele struggles to accept how the teen found himself staring into the barrel of a gun.
"Maybe in the wrong place in the wrong time, because I've always known nothing but good things and what a good, passionate heart he had," she said.
A memorial at Polk Avenue and 37th Street has grown by the hour since Medina's death. Prayer candles, athletics awards and flowers were set beside portraits of Medina throughout his short but full life.
Through tears and sheer disbelief, Marisol Perez Vazquez told NBC 7 on Monday how the killer took everything from her son, who she described as a noble boy, a baby even, at just 14 years old.
Enrique's older sisters were at a loss as they called for the suspects to be caught.
"They took everything away from him, from my parents, the only boy, youngest kid," said Natalia Medina. "We're still trying to process everything."
His family said while Enrique was tall, strong and a boxer at the Undisputed boxing club in City Heights, he was also compassionate.
Enrique arrived at the boxing club as a chunky 12-year-old who was humble, big-hearted and genuine, described owner David Ventura.
"It's just sad that I'm not gonna see him in the gym anymore, you know. And I'm not gonna see him grow into a young man. That's the saddest part," Ventura said.
"I feel like the gym was everything to him," Ventura added.
His sisters said he wanted to be the next Canelo Alvarez, and they believed him.
"He had a big heart," Natalia said. " He was really sensitive, and he was a loving brother. Even though he was younger than us, he acted like our big brother and protected us."
When the suspects left the scene, they were headed south on 37th Street in a light-colored sedan, police said on Sunday.
"It is very early in the investigation and detectives are still working to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting, including the motivation and whether there was any sort of interaction between the victim and the suspects," Lt. Jud Campbell said in a release.
As of Monday afternoon, no suspects were located.
Neighbors said violence has started to pick up in the City Heights community and Corridor area. Many neighbors did not feel comfortable speaking to NBC 7 about the incident.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293. Tips can be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.