Arrests made in killing of Santa Rosa teen

  • 4/8/2009: A9: Marco Suarez, 22, right, is consoled at a Grand Avenue memorial to his brother, Luis Suarez, who was killed Monday in a drive-by shooting.

    PC: Marco Suarez,22,right, is consoled at a Grand Avenue memorial to his brother Luis Suarez who was killed Monday night in a drive-by shooting at this spot in Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa police arrested a 17-year-old boy Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of a high school student who was gunned down blocks from his family?s home.

Police said the teen they arrested Wednesday is from Kelseyville but they did not release his name. He was taken to juvenile hall.

A second man, 20-year-old Fernando Mendoza of Santa Rosa, also was arrested on a parole violation and booked into Sonoma County Jail after detectives questioned him in connection with the homicide, police said.

Luis Suarez, 18, was shot multiple times at about 9:40 p.m. Monday as he walked on Grand Avenue near Pressley Avenue.

The Ridgway High School student, who was about to celebrate his 19th birthday, had left a friend?s house and may have been walking home when a car pulled up near him.

Witnesses told police they saw a car slow and that a person got out before shots were fired. The person then got back in the car and it drove away, Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.

Suarez, who lived three blocks from where he died, was shot multiple times, including in the torso, and was declared dead at the scene.

Friends and family described him as a large young man who had a good sense of humor but had difficulty staying clear of bad influences.

They also described the South Park neighborhood where he lived and died as troubled and plagued with gang problems.

Banayat did not release a motive for the shooting but said detectives are still determining whether it may have been gang-related.

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