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High School grieves student murdered in Oregon

June 7, 2012 1:45:45 PM PDT
A Mountain View high school student and his grandmother were murdered by a family member outside the grandmother's Oregon home on Monday evening, Oregon authorities said.

Nicholas Brian "Nick" Juarez, 16, a sophomore at Saint Francis High School, had been visiting his grandmother, Saundra Sue Wallace, 71, at her home in Lake Oswego, Ore., when both were gunned down in the home's driveway at about 6:15 p.m. Monday, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies arrived shortly before 6:30 p.m. and arrested Nick's uncle, Adrien Graham Wallace, 41, of Lake Oswego, for the killings.

A probable cause statement from the sheriff's office indicates that Wallace confessed to detectives that he shot both his mother and his nephew in the face with a hunting rifle as they tried to leave the property.

Wallace was booked into county jail and appeared in court Tuesday afternoon, when he was arraigned on two counts of aggravated murder, according to the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office.

Wallace is being held without bail and is expected to return to court Friday for a preliminary hearing, according to the district attorney's office.

School officials at Saint Francis issued a message Wednesday informing the Catholic college preparatory school community of Juarez's death.

"Nick was a true Holy Cross Man who made a huge impact on our school," the statement from school President Kevin Makley and Principal Patricia Tennant said. "His loss is being felt by our entire Saint Francis family."

Nick was remembered by a teacher as an outgoing and talented member of the school band.

Band director Danna Mitchell-Carter said Nick aimed to please and to make others happy by spreading his optimism.

"He was a positive person," she said. "Even when things were bad, if we had a bad competition or scored low, he was always positive."

As the news of his death spread through the school earlier this week, some students mourned online, posting on social networking sites.

"Band is never gonna be the same without you, and i love you. The whole band does," one of Nick's bandmates wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday night. "You will always be in our prayers and thoughts."

The school plans to hold a memorial service for Nick when classes resume in August, but the school's band will participate in the private funeral services to be held next week, a school representative said.


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