The iPad was the boy’s treasured birthday present. To the men who killed him, it looked like an easy target.
Marcos Vincente Arenas, 15, died Thursday while fighting off two men who wanted the iPad, a gift he received less than two months ago.
“For him to lose his life over an iPad, it’s just not fair,” said Ivan Arenas, Marcos’ father.
Las Vegas police said Marcos was walking on Charleston Boulevard near Scholl Drive about 4:15 p.m. when he was approached by two men in a white SUV.
The passenger, described as a white man in his late mid-20s who stood about 6 feet and weighed between 180 and 200 pounds, dragged Marcos into the street and tried to wrest the tablet away. Marcos, although younger and thinner, wouldn’t let go.
The man, who had short, slicked- back blond hair and a neatly trimmed beard, got back into the car. The driver, described as black man in his mid-20s with a “fade” haircut and “tattoo sleeves” on both arms, sped away.
Marcos was dragged by the car until he fell and the SUV ran over his body. He died at University Medical Center.
“Never in my life would I imagine that me buying my kid an iPad for his birthday would end up with him getting run over,” Arenas said.
The Arenas family never had a lot, the father said. Marcos knew from a young age to appreciate everything he had, and a gift from his father wasn’t something he’d surrender.
“He never quit fighting,” Ivan said in front of hundreds of family and friends at a candlelight vigil held for Marcos on Friday evening at Firefighters Memorial Park, just across the street from Bonanza High School on Oakey Boulevard.
For Arenas, his oldest son was always the one he could count on to help lift him up, no matter how hard things would get.
“At the end of the day, it was just me and him. We could take that mask off and just really be ourselves, and really tell ourselves what’s really going on,” Arenas said. “Who’s gonna lift me up now?”
“I’m trying to take his example and do what he did, just fight to the bitter end,” Arenas said.
“Sickening,” said relative Eddie Figueroa of Marcos’ death. “He was a little kid.”
Figueroa, 18, said Marcos was his nephew, but he considered him a little brother.
“He was a great kid. He was an athlete. He did everything right, never got into trouble,” Figueroa said. “We’re all pretty devastated.”
Ivan said police asked him not to speak to the media. But he was active on Facebook, posting news stories about his son and sharing status updates from family members, including this from Marcos’ uncle:
“We are looking for the bastard who killed my nephew. If anyone sees him or knows something, please let the police know. Thank you.”
Marcos loved basketball, volleyball and especially football. Kathleen Candila, a close friend, said he was captain of Bonanza’s freshmen volleyball team. According to his father, making the varsity football team was one of Marcos’ biggest goals.
Kathleen, also a student at Bonanza, said Marcos had a “big heart.”
“There are no words to describe how big it was. He was an amazing kid,” she said.
To his friends and his family, Marcos was a rock. The 15-year-old, the oldest of 10 children, was always more mature than his age, friends said.
“Marcos was always there for me,” a friend said.
Other students described Marcos as athletic, energetic, generous and kind. His death had an impact on students at the school.
“Everyone seems really down,” said Jonathan Mujica, who had attended school with Marcos since the sixth grade.
The suspects’ SUV was described as a white, 2008 to 2010 model Ford Explorer or Expedition with tinted windows. It had no license plates.
Anyone with any information was urged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section at 828-3521 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 385-5555 or www.crimestoppersofnv.com.
Reporters Rochel Leah Goldblatt and Yesenia Amaro contributed to this story. Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283. Follow @blasky on Twitter. Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at email@example.com or 702-383-4638.