LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A San Fernando Valley high school is set to honor a young Marine who was murdered in his own barracks at Camp Pendleton.
Friends and family will remember Lance Corporal Maria Arias Jr., 19, as a model student at Canoga Park High School.
He was found dead in his bed at Camp Pendleton on Sunday.
Arias was reportedly assaulted by a fellow Marine after he tried to confront him about his alcohol abuse — an act of bravery that comes as no surprise to one of his fellow teachers.
“The fact that he would try to help someone makes sense,” said Valerie Olenick, Arias’ former yearbook teacher. “The fact that someone would hurt him didn’t make sense.”
“I don’t understand, it’s really hard to think of why someone would just snatch his life away,” said friend Felipe Romero.
Arias participated in last year’s annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at Canoga Park High School. This year, his classmates and teachers will be honoring him at the event.