Slain teen's family hopes someone will help find his killer

2014-02-07T00:00:00Z Slain teen's family hopes someone will help find his killerBy Kimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Antonio Flores worked hard at school to keep his grades up.

He held an after-school job, and, his family said, he hoped for a career in the Air Force.

He was a good kid who contributed to society, they said.

His family is now hoping the community will help them by coming forward to police with information about the person who killed Flores.

Just after 10 p.m. Nov. 16, Flores, 17, and some friends stopped at a Circle K at South Campbell Avenue and East Drexel Road for sodas. They were hanging out in the parking lot  when an SUV pulled up and shot at the group with a BB or pellet gun. One of the teens was hit.

When the SUV sped away, the unarmed teens hopped in a Chevrolet Silverado and followed, trying to get a license plate number. Two boys were in the cab of the truck. Five, including Flores, rode in the truck bed, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a spokesman for the Tucson Police Department.

The youths caught up to the SUV at Drexel and South Copper Plate Avenue. Several people were in the SUV and at least one opened fire on the boys with a rifle or shotgun. The truck was hit multiple times. Flores was struck at least once.

The dark-color SUV took off southbound on Copper Plate, and the teens continued west on Drexel and flagged down a police officer at South Park Avenue.

Flores was pronounced dead at a hospital.

None of the teens had gang affiliations, Dugan said.

Flores attended Canyon Rose Academy, an alternative-education charter high school in midtown, and had a job at a Subway sandwich shop. And he wanted to go into the Air Force.

“He was a go-getter. He was about positivity, being one step ahead,” said his mother, Lydia Arguellas. “He was an awesome teenager. I know he would have been an amazing man.

“He was a leader. He was very strong-willed. He was very proactive. He tried his best at everything. He was independent,” she said.

Flores “was a goofy kid. He was real funny,” said his father, Dennis . “He loved to eat. He was a steak-and-potatoes guy. He didn’t like vegetables too much.”

He was also hardworking and “really responsible,” his father said. “It was kind of hard for me to buy him anything because he’d want to buy his own stuff — his clothes, his watch, his shoes. He was really careful about being responsible and taking care of himself.”

Flores was also a good brother. He had one older sister, Analeah; a younger sister and brother, Erica and Augustine; and two half-siblings, Sky Anthony and Celine.

“Every time he came over he was always holding her and playing with her,” Dennis Flores said of the relationship between his son and year-old Celine.

Investigators are hoping anyone with information  or who may remember something about the night of the shooting will call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Tipsters who call 88-CRIME will remain anonymous and are eligible for cash rewards if the information given leads to an arrest or  indictment of a felony offender.

Contact reporter Kimberly Matas at kmatas@azstarnet.com or at 573-4191.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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