Grief counselors were on hand at Millennial Tech Middle School in Webster Monday to help the young students cope with the recent of a fellow classmate.
» Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts» Like Us On Facebook» Follow Us On Twitter
According to police, 14-year-old Richard "Richy" Carrillo was fatally shot near a Mount Hope apartment complex Saturday night.
Police said the teen was in an alley with friends at about 8 p.m. when two Hispanic males in their 20s pulled up in a dark sport utility vehicle, jumped out and open fire. Family members told 10News Richard was shot in the neck.
"He was a nice, cool person," said classmate Shahib Vann. "He always had snacks and stuff he liked to share with other people; always fun to hang around."
Richard's family said he turned 14 three weeks ago and was one of five kids.
His younger sister, Amor Carrillo, spoke through tears about him, saying, "My brother ... he really was a caring person
He loved everybody, especially his cousins, his sister, his brother."
Police have not said if gangs may be involved, but the Carrillo family seems sure of it.
"He was against all that," Richard's mother, Elisa Carillo, explained. "He didn't like gangs. He didn't like dressing all baggy."
She said Richard was the kind of kid who wore skinny jeans and stuck by his mom's side. She said he was so afraid of gangs that he limited his time outside.
"They hurt an innocent child," Elisa Carrillo said. "He was barely living his life."
Millennial Tech Middle School Principal Helen Griffith said this is the first time they have had to deal with such a tragedy during the school's four-year history.
"This is my neighborhood ... I feel personally affected," Griffith said. "I'm very affected by the senseless violence in our community that's got to stop."
Lt. Theresa Adams of the North County Gang Task Force said gang recruitment starts early, often in middle school.
"Actually, 14 is old for a gang member," Adams said.
Adams has helped dismantle entire networks and works hard to keep kids out of gangs. The organization offers many programs, like reaching out to siblings of gang members and getting them involved with law enforcement. Still, sometimes kids face joining or dying.
"It's a tough thing to see," Adams said. "It's tough, and then bringing that home to our kids too. It just makes you hug your kid a lot harder."
She said the focus of gangs seems to have shifted from protecting turf to getting money and weapons. Gangs are often involved with human trafficking and prostitution.
"I hope that they [the suspected shooters] are proud that they think they became men by doing this to my son," Elisa Carrillo said. "They're not. They're cowards."
"They are just shooting at people like nothing. They're not even seeing and realizing who they're shooting at," she added.
Copyright Do you have more information about this story? Click here to contact usCopyright 2012 by 10News.com. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.