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18-year-old gunned down; SR police seeking motive

Candles flickered through the rain at a makeshift memorial to 18-year-old Luis Suarez, slain in the street by an unknown assailant Monday night in Santa Rosa's South Park neighborhood.

"He was friendly. He was a good kid. We don't know why this would happen," said Suarez's father, Felipe Suarez, choking back grief as he held a photo of his son Tuesday.

"We just want to know who did this," said Suarez's sister, Joanne Suarez, when her father couldn't say anything more. "We just want to find them."

Luis Suarez, a student at Ridgway High School and about to celebrate his 19th birthday, was shot to death at about 9:40 p.m. Monday on Grand Avenue. He 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, heard shots fired and then saw the car move away, said Sgt. Lisa Banayat.

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

"He left here and he didn't come back," his father said in Spanish as he stood in his kitchen doorway.

Santa Rosa police detectives Tuesday were re-interviewing witnesses and family, trying to piece together what happened, including whether gang members were involved.

Suarez was not a known gang member but knew people who were in gangs, Banayat said.

"We don't have anybody saying they heard gang things being shouted," she said. "We don't know if it was gang related."


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