San Diego teens killed in Tijuana were ‘both phenomenal kids’

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SAN DIEGO – Classmates of two San Diego teenagers killed execution-style in a triple homicide in Mexico gathered Thursday for a vigil.

A large group of students gathered at a park in Encanto to remember Christopher Gomez and Juan Suarez-Ojeda, 17 and 18 respectively.

Gomez was a football player in his senior year at O’Farrell Charter High School. Suarez-Ojeda had graduated from Ingenuity Charter School on a shared Encanto campus earlier in the year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The two San Diego teens and Angel Said Robles, a 17-year-old high school student in Tijuana, had gone together to a barbecue in Ensenada last Friday and were supposed to return home that same night, Gomez's cousin, Katheryn Garcia, told the newspaper.

The semi-clothed bodies of the three victims were found early Sunday morning in a complex of apartments in Lomas Verdes, according to the Union-Tribune. The bodies were found outside one of the buildings, and initial police reports stated they had been shot in the head.

A vigil attendee told FOX 5 that Gomez had visited Mexico one other time in his life and didn’t have a connection to anything legal or drug-related.

O’Farrell’s superintendent Dr. Jonathan Dean said they are helping students cope with their deaths.

“[It’s] devastating for everyone, especially after hearing how they were killed. It’s just horrendous,” Dean said.

Dean described the teenagers as “both phenomenal kids.”

“[Gomez was] real light-hearted, never a discipline problem. He was a really good kid,” Dean said.

Authorities have not disclosed any indication of what might have led to the killings.

Family members contacted Baja California authorities and frantically searched for the missing teenagers over the weekend, Garcia told the newspaper. On Sunday night, Tijuana police told the families about the three bodies found outside the Lomas Verdes apartment.

"When we have this type of incident, we work together with U.S. authorities," Alvarez told the Union-Tribune. "They help us and we help them."

Dean said he is in the process of meeting with students to figure out a way to remember Gomez.

“I heard some ideas like purchasing a bench, doing a memorial or do something on the football field,” he said.

Faculty at O’Farrell set up a GoFundMe site for both San Diego families.

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