Friends and family of Richard Vega of Campbell gathered at Santa Clara High on Monday night to remember the 18-year-old who was fatally shot on Sunday. George Kiriyama reports.
They stood in the middle of the Santa Clara High School football field. More than 150 of them, all family, friends and former classmates of Richard Vega. They remembered. They reflected. They all asked the same question: why?
"From what we know it could just have been a mistaken identity," Nancy Vega, Richard's older sister, said on Monday night at a vigil for her brother. "Mistaking him for someone else. 'Cause he wasn't into anything negative."
Campbell police say Vega was walking Sunday night just north of the Campbell Community Center on Latimer Avenue near Dunster when someone came up to him and shot him a few times.
Investigators say a dark colored car was seen going eastbound on Latimer towards Winchester. Vega was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. But he did not survive.
"We're keeping strong knowing that is what he would...he would like," Vega said.
Vega was just 18 years old and was in middle of his freshman year at De Anza College. His short life made a huge impression on his former teachers at Santa Clara High.
"I wanted to be here for the family to let the family know that we support them and that we loved their son and thank you for sharing your son with us," Anthony Butler, a teacher aide, said.
Vega also played football his junior and senior years at Santa Clara High. Head football coach Mark Krail says Vegas was a player who gave it his all.
"A great teammate, privileged to coach. Showed up every day for practice and really worked his hardest to be a good teammate and make the team better," Krail said.
The city of Campbell is not used to experiencing something like this. This is the first homicide in the city since November 2007.
"Richard being at 18 I feel like he touched more lives than most people do at 50," Vega said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Campbell Police Department Investigations Unit at (408) 871-5190. Or to leave an anonymous tip, contact Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-7867.