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Gardena Community Grieves Popular Soccer Player Gunned Down In Drive-By

GARDENA (CBSLA) — Dozens of family and friends gathered for a vigil Monday night for a soccer player who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting over the weekend.

David Amaro, 17, was killed Friday night at 146th and Halldale in Gardena while dropping off an invitation for his little sister's birthday.

"He didn't deserve to die this way and we're all really shaken up by all of this," Liliana Banuelos said somberly.

Gardena's police chief and Amaro's mother asked for the public's help to find the teen's killer.

Police have released video of a light-colored sedan leaving the area at the time of the shooting.

"We need your help to identify or locate the people or the vehicle involved," Chief Thomas Kang said.

David was an honor roll student, an all-star soccer player and wanted to become a police officer. He was in the process of joining the Gardena police explorer program.

Police say the teen was not involved in a gang and became an innocent victim of gun violence. Investigators and his family want to know why.

Monday was the first day of class at Environmental Charter School since Amaro's killing, and several of his friends remembered his fun and carefree nature.

"Really outgoing and all that," Kristopher Escobedo said. It was a sentiment that Banuelos echoed.

"He was a class clown," she said. "Yeah, he made everybody laugh. He always came to class with a smile."

Amaro was named player of the game for the match the team played last month against Pacific Lutheran. His teammates wore their jerseys Monday in honor of him.

"He was a big part of the team," teammate Jose Barrios said. "He always cared for how everyone played, and if you played bad, he supported you."

The teen's friends and family say they don't know why anyone would want to hurt him. Investigators have few leads in the murder and only know the shooter was last seen in the light-colored sedan.

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