SAN DIEGO - San Diego police asked for the public's help Monday in solving the one-year-old slaying of a 14-year-old boy in the Mount Hope neighborhood.
Richard Carrillo was fatally shot in the south alley of 3500 Island Ave. around 8 p.m. March 24, 2012, according to SDPD.
The eighth-grader -- known to loved ones as Little Richy -- was sitting on the tailgate of a parked pickup, talking with friends, when a dark SUV rolled up, and two Hispanic men in their 20s got out and started shooting, police said. The gunmen then got back in the vehicle and fled westbound.
One bullet struck Carrillo in the neck. He managed to climb a flight of stairs but died in the apartment courtyard.
His mother, Elisa, is still struggling to cope.
"It's like a very lost, empty feeling inside," she told 10News. "It's unexplainable. I think about him every day. I miss him. You have an empty feeling inside, especially when you come home. It just feels really lonely. Home is not home anymore. You wish you could wake up and hear his voice or hear him play or hear them argue but you don't hear that."
Carrillo attended Millennial Tech Middle School and had just turned 14 about three weeks before the shooting.
Carrillo was well-liked at school. Friend Chuckie Canela told 10News, "Yeah, I was friends with Richie. He was a homie and I really miss him."
Itzel Flores said, "We just came to visit him. It was sad."
Elisa Carrillo said the pain is especially intense for their family.
"My kids, they hurt a lot," she said. "Yesterday, my daughter started crying. We had his rosary at the crime scene. The day they were born you were going to protect them but sometimes we're not there to protect them."
She is hoping someone will come forward and help police find whoever is responsible.
Anyone with information about the death was asked to call SDPD's homicide unit at (619) 531-2293 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.