Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

16-year old Oregon boy and his grandmother gunned down by unstable uncle

Nick Juarez, age 16
16-year old Nick Juarez was going places.  He had just finished touring a potential college, the University of Washington, was an athlete and model student, and was drum captain at his high school band.  He was staying at the home of his 71-year old grandmother and was preparing to return to his home town of Mountainview, Oregon, for the middle school graduation of his 13-year old sister.

But he didn't make it farther than his grandmother's driveway when his uncle, 41-year old Adrien Wallace, who had "undisclosed 'issues,'" appeared with a hunting rifle and shot both Nick and his grandmother to death.

Wallace is now in custody after confessing the murder.  A motive has not been released.

From an article:

Charlie McMillan, 18, who just graduated from St. Francis, spent the past two years playing with Nick in all three school bands -- marching, jazz and symphonic.
"He was so passionate about what he did," McMillan said. "That's one thing I'm going to miss and the band is going to miss."
Nick's parents didn't want to talk about the killing or the uncle, saying only that "we knew he had issues."
Neighbor Richard Powell told the Portland Oregonian that he and Sue Wallace, a retired clinical social worker, used to walk their dogs together. He met Adrien Wallace only once.
"Basically, she said he was kind of unfriendly. He didn't talk a lot," Powell said. "She used to say he just can't relate well to people."
Oregon authorities have not released any motive for the killing. Wallace had no previous criminal record.

Nick was fascinated with genealogy and was particularly interested in politics and history. His mother traces her family back to the American Revolution. His paternal great-grandfather was a labor leader in Mexico who posed for pictures with three Mexican presidents.
"He was known as the kid who always wanted to do everything," said Sonia, who said she often argued with her brother on their drives to school because he would rather listen to the news on the radio than music.
He traveled to Italy as a freshman with the St. Francis Symphonic Band. He played football as a freshman and junior varsity soccer.
Last year, he played with the school jazz band at Yoshi's in Oakland and enjoyed summer camps and retreats with the youth ministry at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View.
"He traveled, made friends, connected with people of all ages and colors," his father said.
"He lived a rich and meaningful life. He touched people, and for that I am blessed and thankful and at peace."


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