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Local

Family Remembers LA County Sheriff’s Explorer, 19, Killed In 2011 Drive-By

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Family and friends held a vigil tonight for a teenage volunteer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who was fatally gunned down in a drive-by shooting in 2011.

Cesar Rodriguez was 19 when he and a friend were killed two years ago tonight in the 11800 block of Painter Avenue in Whittier.

Witnesses say a grey Scion rolled up and its driver pulled out a handgun, firing the shots that would kill Rodriguez and 24-year-old Larry Villegas.

Family members say Rodriguez, who had volunteered with the Explorer program  for four years, dreamed of becoming a deputy and was just months shy of reaching the mandatory age of 20 to apply for the position.

Loved ones gathered at a candlelight vigil at Amelia Mayberry Park in South Whittier, vowing to keep his story alive and urging the person or persons responsible to step forward.

“It’s been hard. These people changed our lives 110 percent,” Lupe Rodriguez, the victim’s mother, told KCAL9′s Juan Fernandez.

Police say the case has not grown cold although they do not have any suspects in custody.

Rodriguez’s brother, Hector, says it has been difficult getting anyone with information about the crime to come forward.

“Nobody wants to talk. Apparently no one wants to say anything about what happened or who it was,” he said.

The family says they will continue to hold vigils like the one tonight every year until police find the person responsible for Rodriguez’s death.

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