Candlelight vigil held for Madera teen who died shielding his brother from gunfire

Family members of a Madera teenager who police say was shot and killed after trying to save his little brother held a candlelight vigil in his memory.
December 26, 2013 1:11:00 AM PST
Family members held a candlelight vigil for a Madera teenager who police say was shot and killed after trying to save his little brother.

Investigators say Carlos Ponce and his brother were walking through their neighborhood to play video games with a friend when a gunman ran up and fired. Police are still looking for the suspect who got away. They believe the suspect mistook the teenager's dark clothing for rival gang colors.

Songs of sorrow echoed through a small Madera living room where 15 year-old Carlos Ponce lived with his family. A close friend said the 10th grader at Madera South High School spent his evenings working in the fields to provide for his family.

"A calm person who always helped his family out and gave anything for his family until the day he left," Carlos friend said.

Shortly after Carlos died his little brother said how the teenager tried to cover him that night from the gunfire. He then described the tense moments after Carlos was hit.

"I couldn't leave him there so I had to pick him up and I had to do something. That's when some other people came out," said Fernando Ponce.

During that vigil family members reflected on the huge impact his loss will have on the community.

"Definitely what I will miss the most is his smile and his great attitude," said Carlos friend Luis Mancillas.

Family members are in the process of making funeral arrangements.

Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to contact Madera police.

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