Wylie East athletes run to honor slain classmate




Posted on April 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 1 at 10:34 PM

WYLIE — More than 200 students attended a memorial run to honor murdered classmate Nahum Martinez Sunday evening.

As the news of Nahum's death spread through social media, teammates decided early Sunday to gather at Wylie East High School and run around the campus as a tribute.

"When you're a team, you're a family," said friend Kalynn Balssingame. "We just looked at each other and realized our family needs to be together right now; we need to go run because that's what we do."

Wylie Police did not respond to multiple requests Sunday for more information on the shooting of the 15-year-old high school freshman.

On Saturday afternoon, two 14-year-old classmates were arrested and charged with Nahum's murder after his body was found in the 600 block of Linden Avenue near the entrance of the Meadows of Birmingham subdivision.

A small memorial is growing on top of the storm drain where his body was spotted early Saturday morning.

Police said the three teens had been together earlier that night at a nearby home in the 400 block of Oxford Drive. Neighbors tell News 8 one of the arrested teens lived there with a family member.

Investigators said there were signs of a disturbance inside the home and a gun was found in a neighboring field.

Nahum had recently befriended the two boys, classmates said. One of the had not been at Wylie East High School for long.

"Nahum's probably known them for two months, max," said friend Edwin Walker, 14. Police are not releasing the names of the suspects since they are minors.

Edwin joined dozens of friends and classmates at the tribute on Sunday evening.

“He was always positive," Walker said. "That’s the reason I was in track... it was all because of him. He changed my life."

Nahum's parents unexpectedly attended the tribute. Overwhelmed with grief, the couple barely spoke.

The victim's father carried a sign with a photo of his son attached that read: "Absent in body, but present in spirit."

Nahum's parents softly thanked the crowd before joining the teens as they jogged around the campus.

"He was an angel, and touched many lives," said Nahum's, aunt Irma Perales.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com