Sparks police officers responded to the scene at about 1:38 a.m. to find the victim, 16-year-old Abel Meza-Campos, riddled with multiple 9 mm gun shot wounds to the torso and extremities.
Meza-Campos was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.
Witnesses reported that two suspects fled the scene on foot through the east side of the apartment complex toward Sullivan Lane.
Both suspects are described as Hispanic males, 15 to 18 years old, between 5-feet 5-inches and 5-feet 8-inches tall, wearing dark clothing and baseball caps.
Det. Sgt. John Franz said Monday that the shooting was gang-related. However, relatives of the victim said Meza-Campos was not in a gang himself.
Family members spoke with the Sparks Tribune on Monday afternoon near the scene of the crime.
Sisters-in-law Perla Castillo, 20, and Cynthia Sanchez, 20, described Meza-Campos as a warm-hearted, energetic teen who was ready to begin his first day of the ninth grade at Hug High School on Monday.
“He was always happy, no matter what,” Sanchez said, adding that Meza-Campos had a cute smile, unique voice and could always make people laugh. “He didn’t deserve to die. It’s not fair.”
Relatives said Meza-Campos was babysitting his toddler nephew when he apparently went outside to check the mail. That’s when shots rang out — hitting Meza-Campos between six and eight times, according to family members — leaving a trail of blood near the apartment complex’s mailboxes.
A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, relatives said.
The homicide remains under investigation. Sparks police have asked anyone with information to contact Det. John Patton at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900.