Soccer athlete murdered
Student falls victim in local shooting, dies
Published: Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 20:05
Stepping outside of a friend's house to answer a phone call, a Contra Costa College soccer player was killed when a hail of gunfire erupted in his direction on the night of April 8.
Andrew "Andy" Manriquez, 19, was competing in a FIFA soccer video game tournament with friends in a detached bedroom on the 1400 block of Dunn Avenue in Richmond just moments before.
"He got a phone call from somebody and that's when it happened," said longtime friend Cassius Botelho, who was with Manriquez that night. "I was there until his last breath."
Around 10:30 p.m., a pair of gunmen heading northbound on 15th Street toward Dunn Avenue began firing on the residence and two cars in front, hitting Manriquez through a wrought-iron fence, and missing a few individuals who had just arrived, Richmond Police Detective Eric Haupt said. Manriquez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police, family and friends all agree that the bullet that struck Manriquez was most likely not meant for him.
"It wasn't intentionally for him. He wasn't that kind of person," Botelho said. "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time; that's just how it is."
After another shooting last weekend at the same residence, detectives suspect it was the house or neighborhood being targeted and not Manriquez.
"We do not believe the person who was struck was specifically targeted," Lt. Mark Gagan said. "We have had prior contact at that house but we're not sure of the motive."
However, the investigation is still progressing, Haupt said, and the homicide "is definitely a case that can be solved." Detectives are continuing to investigate strong leads in the homicide
Manriquez, a San Pablo resident and De Anza High School graduate, was taking astronomy and art appreciation classes among his spring semester course load at CCC. He also played midfielder on the men's soccer team last fall.
"He was bright-eyed, he paid attention. I felt him as a positive presence," astronomy professor Jon Celesia said. "Here's a young man who was really growing and really dedicated to his education and life. It's very sad."
Art Appreciation professor Mark Leavitt said his class was stunned by the news of Manriquez's passing.
"We had five minutes of silence, and a few tears were shed. He was giving a very worthy try, and it was doubly tragic," he said. "I think (the students) were sad because he was such a young forward-moving kid."
Men's soccer coach Rudy Zeller said, "It was a totally senseless and cynical act. He was a wonderful young man, full of energy and life."
Zeller said that in wake of Manriquez's death, his teammates have collaborated to fundraise for the family and have committed the coming season to their slain teammate.
"(Playing soccer) is what he loved to do, and that's what he would want us to do," Botelho said.
Outside of his own education, Manriquez coached a mixed-level soccer team at Bayview Elementary School in San Pablo, where he taught and inspired children in his passion.
His team composed a video slideshow memorializing him and sang a song in his remembrance service, Manriquez's brother Santiago Manriquez, Jr. said.
"Right now they don't feel like playing soccer anymore because he was the best coach," he said.