Murdered Merced teen's family has a message

MERCED, Calif.

Andrew's family members are now facing a funeral instead of a graduation party. But they're incredibly thankful for everyone who's come together to make that painful process just a little easier.

This tight knit family is devastated by the death of Andrew Flores, but they're finding some comfort in the emotional and financial support they've received from the community.

Andrew's sister, Lillian Mallory said, "It means so much, not just because we're getting help to give him a proper goodbye, but because just to see how important he was to everyone it gives a little bit of solace."

Family members admit Andrew had some problems in his past -- but say he was an ambitious young man who recently earned a small scholarship to Merced College. He even proudly paid for his own cap and gown to wear at his high school graduation next month.

Andrew's uncle, James bond said, "My son, which was his first cousin is graduating from the same school, which is Merced High School and they planned to graduate together. So it's not gonna happen this time, so... "

Investigators are still searching for the person that shot the 18-year-old in north Merced. A memorial of candles and cards now sits in the spot where a passerby found Andrew's body Sunday morning.

Residents in the area heard gunshots hours earlier, but no one called police because they thought the noise came from firecrackers. Later that day Andrew's family received a call that changed their lives forever.

Mallory said, "I realized that detective was calling to tell my mom that my brother was dead."

Now as the family tries to cope with the heartache, they're also calling for an end to the senseless violence that ended Andrew's life too soon.

Bond said, "He was definitely heading in the right direction, so it is a very big tragedy for everybody."

Andrew's family is planning a run in his honor from Merced to Snelling, starting Saturday morning at seven.

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Run in honor of /*Andrew Flores*/:
Merced to Snelling and back
Saturday, May 19 @ 7am
Meet at the Merced College parking lot on G Street, across from Mercy Medical Center Merced
Participants are invited to run as much of the route as they choose.

Funeral Services--Thursday @ 10am
Viewing -- Wednesday from 4-7pm
Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home
1490 B St.
Merced, CA 95340

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