Teen shot, killed while walking with friends in west Phoenix

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – A 17-year-old boy is dead after a late night shooting in west Phoenix.

It happened at about 10 p.m. Sunday at 67th Avenue and Van Buren Street.

Christopher Garcia was walking north on 67th Avenue with four friends when a truck pulled alongside them.

Two armed suspects got out of the truck and confronted the group. Three of the victim’s friends ran while he and one other stayed at the scene.

As the group argued, the suspects opened fire, hitting Garcia. The suspects then fled the scene.

Garcia was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The person who stayed with him was not injured.

A short time after the shooting, a burning vehicle was found at 32nd Avenue and Coronado Road, which is just north of McDowell Road. The vehicle matched the description of the truck the suspects were in.

Police have not confirmed that it was the suspects’ vehicle, but they are investigating the possibility.

"That's certainly some red flags for us," Lt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department said. "That happens from time to time where we have suspects that are involved in a crime and will attempt to destroy evidence, such as burning their vehicle."

Investigators do not have a good description of the suspects, nor have they determined a motive.

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil Monday night to remember the slain teen.

"He was a really good guy," says friend Yevette Tapia. "He was never negative. I could just remember every time I saw him he always had a smile."