A lifetime of goals left unmet after boy’s death

Aric Brill wanted to attend college, dabble in professional fighting, travel and start his own business before retiring early and enjoying life without work.

The 16-year-old North Las Vegan’s 10 life goals were listed on a battered piece of loose-leaf paper and read aloud Monday by his grieving mother, Karen Brill.

Aric Brill will never achieve any of them.

He died Sunday at University Medical Center after being shot in the back of the head at an east valley house party Friday night.

“Aric had a lot to give,” Karen Brill said. “If I could have gotten Aric through two more years — I only had two to go — he would have been in college. He was so smart.”

Aric Brill, a junior at Global Community High School, was one of two young men shot at a house party on Beesley Drive, near Charleston and Nellis boulevards. Witnesses told police that a male approached the victims, pulled out two handguns and shot them.

Las Vegas police Homicide Lt. Lew Roberts said there might have been more than one assailant involved. It was unclear if the shooter or shooters had attended the party.

The suspect then robbed one of the victims before fleeing, according to police. No arrests had been made late Monday.

Roberts is hoping that people who were at the party will step up with information on the suspect or suspects.

Anyone with information on the shootings is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.

“It’s always frustrating when people try to have a party for the right reasons and somebody gets shot and killed for no reason,” Roberts said. “It’s frustrating that some people in the community are thugs.”

Roberts said police are investigating a possible gang link to the shooting. He said the shooting victims weren’t gang members.

Roberts said the surviving victim, who was not identified, was in critical condition Monday afternoon. A source said he was 19 years old.

Friends of Aric Brill have shared the sequence of events with his mother and his father, Donald Brill. The teenager was at the party around 10 p.m. but walked to a nearby 7-Eleven with four other boys.

“He felt some tension there,” Karen Brill said of the party.

She said she was told that people at the party were texting others to come over, including known gang members.

She also was told by friends of her son that, as the group walked back to the party, four men jumped from behind a barrier wall wielding guns and telling the group, “We’re going to rob you. If you run, we’ll shoot,” Karen Brill said.

“I want to know why all these people, all these thug cowards, are running around with guns killing our teenage kids,” she said. “They are hiding behind guns. They are not men.”

She said her son was a straight-A student involved in Future Business Leaders of America and was computer savvy. He stayed physically fit.

Eight of his organs were donated after he died. Doctors told her that on average, only two or three organs per person are viable for donation.

Aric Brill’s girlfriend, 17-year-old Kristina, who asked that her last name be withheld, said he had piercing blue eyes and a loyal personality.

“I’m still in shock, it’s so unreal,” she said.

Kevin Brill, 14, said he and his brother did everything together.

“We would have our fights, but he never let us walk away mad,” he said.

A memorial service for Aric Brill will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mountain View Christian Church, 3900 E. Bonanza Road.

Friday’s shooting wasn’t the first time a valley house party turned deadly.

In September, a 20-year-old was fatally shot in the chest at a northwest Las Vegas house party. Five other young people, including a 14-year-old, were wounded.

In June, two young men were killed at Baskin Park in a drive-by shooting that was rooted in fights that began at a southwest valley house party.

Donald Brill said his son’s death is encouraging him to take action.

He said he plans to work with high schools and campaign to strengthen the gang task force.

“It’s these cowardly kids that shoot innocent people and they know they are getting away with it,” he said. “It’s a mockery that this is supposed to be a civilized society. We live in a jungle.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Antonio Planas contributed to this report. Contact reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.

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