Hundreds attend vigil for slain Wylie teen

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on March 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 31 at 10:38 PM

Teen found dead

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WYLIE — About 200 people attended a solemn vigil in Murphy Saturday night for 15-year-old Nahum Martinez, who was found shot and killed at an intersection in that city early Saturday morning.

Two 14-year-olds are under arrest for the murder of the Wylie East High School freshman.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Venece Perepiczka said a passerby reported seeing the victim's body at the corner of Westgate Way and Linden Avenue around 5:30 a.m., near an entrance to the Meadows of Birmingham subdivision.

Neighbor Robin Wacaster passed the crime scene on her morning run about an hour before the teen's body was found.  "I just felt sick," she said. "You don't think that anything like this can happen in Wylie."

Police said a gun and other evidence believed to be associated with the shooting were found in an open field. That evidence led investigators to a residence in the 400 block of Oxford Drive, not far from where Nahum's body was discovered.

Two 14-year-old boys at that address were arrested and charged with murder, Perepiczka said. The names of the juveniles were not released. All three are said to have been at the residence before the shooting.

Investigators were seen removing a bent screen from a second floor window of the home in front of which Nahum's body was discovered.

"It's all still something very much under investigation," Perepiczka said. "We don't have a lot of answers to those 'why' questions, but we are working on getting them."

Wylie ISD spokesman Ian Halperin said the district has been notified about Nahum's death and a crisis management plan is being activated. Extra counselors will be on hand at the Wylie East campus on Monday morning.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martinez family as they deal with this tragedy," Halperin said in a written statement. "Nahum was good student and teammate and will be missed at Wylie East."

Nahum was a cross-country athlete and had just competed in a match on Thursday.

"I started crying in the car because I was just on the bus with him Thursday leaving the track meet," said Nahum's friend Maya Minter. "He was never harmful. He always kept to himself and he was so nice, and he was always trying to be positive; you never heard him complain about anything."

"He was like the light of wherever he was," said classmate David Harris. "He was always nice to everybody."

Those sentiments were echoed by student Toni Harris."You would have never thought that someone as nice and sweet and innocent as him would have something this terrible happen to him."

Perepiczka said investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the fatal shooting.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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