Posted & Copyright KPHO.COM
Police: 14-Year-Old Killed Was In Wrong Place, Wrong Time
POSTED: 9:16 pm MST September 9, 2010
UPDATED: 3:27 pm MST September 10, 2010
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Aguilar family is suffering. 14-year-old Freddie Aguilar was killed on Aug. 28. Family members said they still have not had a chance to say goodbye. They have yet to truly grieve.
Fred Aguilar, Freddie’s father, said because of confusion and trouble identifying him at the hospital, Freddie’s body was taken to the coroner before the family got to see him.
"Friday (at the viewing) will be the first time we'll see him in 2 weeks," said Fred Aguilar.
According to police, Freddie had been sleeping over at a friend’s house near 48th Street and Southern Avenue when gunmen burst in, looking for drugs and money. Freddie was shot and killed. Three others were hurt.
"(It was) your worst nightmare -- suspects come in, blazing guns and demanding money and drugs," said Sgt. Darren Burch, of Silent Witness. “He was absolutely at the wrong place at the wrong time."
Freddie’s mother, Armida, said she’s struggling to cope with the fact that her family is now “minus one.”
"It takes a little getting used to. Now and then, we forget he's not here and call out his name," said Armida Aguilar.
Freddie Aguilar was a student at Tempe High School. He loved loved football and basketball, and was developing an interest in art, said his father. And he loved being called by his nickname.
"His nickname was Jellybean. We call him that all the time," said Fred Aguilar.
The nickname originated from an ultrasound photo.
"He was curled up like a little bean, and I said, ‘that's my Jellybean right there,’ and it stuck ever since," said Fred Aguilar.
Older brother Omar described a typical brotherly relationship, with a lot of "tough love." But the last time he saw his brother at school was different.
"He went up to me -- something he never did -- and shook my hand and gave me a hug, and said, ‘I'll see you later.’ And at that moment he smiled. That's the last time I saw my brother," said Omar Aguilar.
“Anyone who really cared for Freddie and loved him, and knew what he was about and that was around that area at that time,” said Armida Aguilar. “Please come forward. Speak up. Don't let us suffer like this anymore.”
Funeral services are set for Saturday.
Police and the Aguilar family have asked anyone with information about the crime to call Silent Witness. The number is 480-WITNESS. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a cash reward.
More information on the Silent Witness program can be found online at http://www.silentwitness.org/.