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The teenage victims of the Milwaukee murders were best friends, classmates at St.  Anthony

The teenage victims of the Milwaukee murders were best friends, classmates at St. Anthony

The teenage victims of the Milwaukee murders were best friends, classmates at St.  Anthony

Rodrigo Herrara-Mejia, 22, kneels at a memorial for his younger brother Diego Herrara-Mejia on West Manitoba Street in Milwaukee's south side on Monday.  Diego and his best friend Isaac Rodriguez were shot and killed on Saturday.

Rodrigo Herrara-Mejia, 22, kneels at a memorial for his younger brother Diego Herrara-Mejia on West Manitoba Street in Milwaukee’s south side on Monday. Diego and his best friend Isaac Rodriguez were shot and killed on Saturday.

Diego Herrera-Mejia and Isaac Rodriguez first met in middle school. Within three years, the two had become the best of friends. They were starting their summer break and were going to start their sophomore year together in the fall at St. Anthony on the south side of Milwaukee.

Herrara-Mejia, 16, and Rodriguez, 15, both died Saturday in a shooting around 8 p.m. near the 800 block of West Manitoba Street between 8th and the 9th. Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene, and Herrara-Mejia died later Saturday night at a local hospital, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A 14-year-old boy also suffered a non-fatal injury.

“They were both easy going. They both had a lot of friends,” said Rodrigo Herrara-Mejia, 22, Diego’s older brother.

There have been 10 homicides and 28 nonfatal shootings involving those 17 and younger so far this year, according to the Milwaukee Police Department.

Rodrigo stopped by memorials for his brother and Rodriguez Monday afternoon on his way to help other family members prepare for the funeral service. Prayer candles, balloons, photos, handwritten messages and photos were set up for each teenager.

“My brother was a good, good soul. That’s the best way to describe him,” he said, adding that his brother played on the basketball team at St. Anthony.

Photos of 15-year-old Isaac Rodriguez are part of a memorial on West Manitoba Street in Milwaukee's south side.  Rodriguez was shot and killed Saturday along with his best friend, 16-year-old Diego Herrara-Mejia.Photos of 15-year-old Isaac Rodriguez are part of a memorial on West Manitoba Street in Milwaukee's south side.  Rodriguez was shot and killed Saturday along with his best friend, 16-year-old Diego Herrara-Mejia.

Photos of 15-year-old Isaac Rodriguez are part of a memorial on West Manitoba Street in Milwaukee’s south side. Rodriguez was shot and killed Saturday along with his best friend, 16-year-old Diego Herrara-Mejia.

He said the families are close, both living in the community where the two were shot. Rodrigo said Rodriguez was often at his family’s home.

“He was always respectful. He was a good kid,” Rodrigo said. “They were both good kids.”

A sign leans against a fence on West Manitoba Street in south Milwaukee with messages for Isaac Rodriguez, 15, and Diego Herrara-Mejia, 16.  They were shot and killed in the street on Saturday.  The teenagers were students at St.  Anthony.A sign leans against a fence on West Manitoba Street in south Milwaukee with messages for Isaac Rodriguez, 15, and Diego Herrara-Mejia, 16.  They were shot and killed in the street on Saturday.  The teenagers were students at St.  Anthony.

A sign leans against a fence on West Manitoba Street in south Milwaukee with messages for Isaac Rodriguez, 15, and Diego Herrara-Mejia, 16. They were shot and killed in the street on Saturday. The teenagers were students at St. Anthony.

Rodrigo said the two teenagers were walking with some friends and cousins ​​on West Manitoba Street when “some guys on scooters” came up to them. The boys on the scooter challenged them, he said. No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information can contact Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip through the P3 app.

Jessica Van Egeren is a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She can be reached at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Two Milwaukee teens killed, remembered as best friends and relieved