Health

Teen Playing With Gun Kills Teen Battling Cancer

| by Brendan Kelly
Diego RodriguezDiego Rodriguez

A Texas teen battling cancer was shot and killed on July 26 by a 15-year-old boy who was playing with a handgun.

Diego Rodriguez, 17, died about an hour after being shot in the chest, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Rodriguez was attempting to take a loaded handgun away from the 15-year-old boy when the gun discharged, KTLA reports. The 17-year-old was rushed to the hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead shortly after.

Rodriguez had been battling leg cancer for two years prior to his death. He was killed days before receiving his Make-A-Wish Foundation gift, which was to have his grandfather's pickup truck restored.

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The teen's mother promised him that if he made it to his 16th birthday, then she would have the truck restored for him. His family reached out to Make-A-Wish to make his dream a reality.

"He was ... super excited," said Jason Pena, the manager of BlackJack Speed Shop. "He wanted his truck re-done, and he wanted it re-done by BlackJack Speed Shop."

The shop is owned by retired NBA player Tim Duncan. Duncan was planning to meet Rodriguez on July 28 to help unveil the restored truck, according to Pena.

After the shooting, the 15-year-old fled the scene. He was later apprehended by police at an apartment. The investigation is ongoing, and charges are pending, according to San Antonio Express-News.

Kathrin Brewer, CEO of the South Texas chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, released a statement following news of the teen's tragic death, according to KTLA:

“There is nothing we can do to make up for [Diego’s] loss, but we hope that his car will be a great reminder to his mother that the realization of their dream and the community they had made a difference for him and gave him strength."

The restored truck will reportedly be unveiled at Rodriguez's funeral and will be included in the procession.

Sources: KTLASan Antonio Express-News / Photo Credit: KTLA

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