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Teen arrested in shooting death of classmate in Lemon Grove appears in court

Omar Marquez, Jr. was shot to death Saturday near Mount Miguel High School

LEMON GROVE, Calif. — A teenage boy accused of fatally shooting a fellow teen in Lemon Grove last weekend pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that include murder.

The 15-year-old juvenile suspect, whose name is not being released due to his age, is accused in Saturday's shooting death of Omar Marquez, also 15.

Deputies found the victim dead on a Lemon Grove sidewalk with obvious signs of trauma to his upper body after reports of shots fired near Palm Street and Mulder Street just before 2 a.m. Saturday, according to Lt. Chris Steffen of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

A male was seen running from where the victim was found.

The San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested the 15-year-old boy near the 8100 block of Mazer Street at around 7 p.m. Monday, Steffen said.

The unidentified teen was booked into the juvenile detention facility on suspicion of murder.

"The suspect and the victim attended the same high school," the lieutenant said. "The circumstances and motivation are still under investigation."

Grossmont Union High School District officials confirmed both teenagers attended Mount Miguel High School, and issued the following statement to CBS 8:

“Our hearts broke after learning that a Mount Miguel High School student was killed during an altercation early Saturday morning in Lemon Grove. We can confirm that the student was a 15 year old male who had just completed his freshman year at Mount Miguel. When we were informed by law enforcement that an arrest had been made in the case, we were saddened to learn that the suspect – a 15-year old male – was also a Mount Miguel student. Our District is working closely with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department as their investigation of the incident continues. 

Due to privacy, our district is unable to release any further information regarding the identities of the victim or suspect. This is a painful time for the Mount Miguel community and for all of us at the Grossmont Union High School District. Our District is providing additional support on campus at Mount Miguel as summer school continues, and we’re encouraging any students needing support as they begin to process all that has taken place to visit the Mount Miguel counseling office. We’re also supporting the family in any way we can as they grieve this unimaginably difficult loss.” 

Anyone with information about the death was asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Unit at 858-285-6330, after-hours at 858-565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the victim's family with funeral expenses.

Along with murder, the defendant faces robbery, firearm and ammunition possession charges, along with multiple allegations of discharging a firearm. He's due back in court June 27.

WATCH: Teen arrested in shooting death of classmate in Lemon Grove (June 14, 2022)

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