DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Just 25 minutes into 2012, the valley was marked with its first murder of the year. On Saturday, police responded to a call of someone being chased and shots fired on 6th street in Desert Hot Springs.
"We found out yesterday afternoon that it was my daughter's best friend's brother," Shannon Burkett said.
Her daughter, Kaylie Mendez, was close with the young victim and his sister, Jackie.
Family friends said the teenager was Marcello Moscosco -- but coroners have yet to confirm that and police are still not releasing his name as well.
The Mendezs' said Moscosco was 16 years old, and they'd see him around this area often. They wanted to add that they had a lot of fond memories of him.
"He used to walk last year and pick up my daughter and her friend from school every day, and walk them back to her friend's house," Shannon Burkett said.
Kaylie Mendez said Moscosco didn't have family in Desert Hot Springs.
"He didn't live with his parents anymore, because she got remarried and she lives in Apple Valley, so he lived down here either with his friends or his girlfriend," Shannon Mendez said.
Shannon Burkett and her family put up a memorial to remember Moscosco. They also contacted his mother.
"I was just sending her a message, just sending her my condolences, letting her know my girls were making a sign," Shannon Burkett said.
A cross to show how much the Mendez' miss him.
"It's unfortunate that he found himself in that position, wrong person, wrong people, wrong time. It's just sad to hear," Shannon Burkett said. "Usually when these things happen it's because someone is involved in that lifestyle, but as far as I know, he's a good kid."
Kaylie Mendez said Moscosco's sister hasn't said a lot.
"She's sad, and they don't know if they're having a funeral or not," Kaylie Mendez said.
"It's scary, its just sad that the world is coming to this," Shannon Burkett said.
No word yet on a motive or a suspect description. Desert Hot Springs police continue to investigate.