Funeral held for murdered Danville teen

January 31, 2009 5:40:56 PM PST
Friends and family members described a 17-year-old Danville high school student who was fatally shot last week as outgoing and upbeat and shared childhood memories of Power Rangers and Nintendo at his funeral in Dublin Saturday.

Rylan Fuchs was gunned down the night of Jan. 20 in front of his house.

"How can such a vibrant source of life be literally shot down?" his mother Karen Williams said during the memorial at CrossWinds Church Saturday morning.

Fuchs was shot once in the neck while on the front porch of his family's home in the 1000 block of El Captain Drive in Danville at about 9:15 p.m. He died at John Muir Medical Center the next morning.

Four days later, police arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the shooting. Danville police Chief Chris Wenzel said the shooting may have been drug-related.

Pastor John Merritt told hundreds of Fuchs' family and friends it was appropriate to feel anger for the shooting but not to seek revenge.

"When we feel angry about a senseless murder, that anger comes straight from the heart of God," said Merritt, a family friend of the Fuchs'. "Hate the wrong, not the wrongdoer."

"If Rylan were here, I think he would agree with us, don't you?" Merritt said.

Fuchs' childhood friends, Glen Taylor and Zach Ertz, recalled the simpler times in their lives when their friendship with Fuchs consisted of sleepovers, Power Rangers and video games.

"Although your body is gone," they said of Fuchs, "your spirit will live in us forever."

Fuchs' friend from high school, Mike Segovia, said that when he moved to California in ninth grade, Fuchs befriended him and made his transition to a new school smoother.

"Despite that you were over a foot taller than me, we saw eye to eye in every situation," Segovia said.

Paulina Wszolek, Fuchs' girlfriend, said whenever she was sick Fuchs would make her chicken noodle soup.

"He always managed to spill half of it on him, though," she added, smiling through her tears.

Fuchs' father, Bill Fuchs, said that when his son died Jan. 21, he lost a best friend, a basketball buddy and a fellow creative spirit.

The audience laughed when Bill Fuchs told the story of when he took his 6-year-old son to an amusement park, and Fuchs told a security guard he was 9 so he would be allowed on a certain ride.

The ceremony also included a video slideshow of pictures from Fuchs' from childhood through his teenage years.