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Victim’s mom tells teen Monroe murder suspect ‘you destroyed my family’

MONROE, N.C. — Police in Monroe are still on the hunt for a teenage murder suspect.

On Tuesday, the victim’s mom shared a message for the boy accused of killing her son. Their family is heartbroken as they mourn the loss of 24-year-old Luis Lopez-Garcia.

A memorial has been growing at the spot where Lopez-Garcia was killed. Officers were called around 9:40 p.m. Saturday to Walkup Avenue, which is between Highway 74 and the Monroe Bypass.

Police said the suspect, a 15-year-old, didn’t like the way Lopez-Garcia looked at him that day and shot him for it. They didn’t know each other.

The victim’s mom, Maria Laura Garcia, spoke to Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis on Tuesday with help from our partners at Telemundo Charlotte.

“I want justice,” she said. “You cannot imagine what is happening in my family. I would not want three heads passing by and this man still be out there. If he’s not caught, it would give my son’s life no meaning.”

She is anxious as she waits for police to arrest the teenager accused of killing her son. Monroe police have been urgently searching for the teen suspect since Saturday night.

Because of the suspect’s young age, police can’t identify him publicly, though they did say he lives near where the shooting happened.

As they wait for justice, Lopez-Garcia’s family placed a cross, candles and flowers in the grass at his memorial.

Garcia said her family is broken. Her son was about to become a father -- his girlfriend is four months pregnant.

Curtis asked Garcia what she would say to the teen accused of leaving her grandchild fatherless.

“You left me with my heart broken,” she said. “You destroyed my family. You should think about your mom, and the pain that you’re going to cause her to spend so many years in jail.”

Curtis learned the suspect will be charged as an adult.

A new law will soon allow police to release information about a juvenile who committed serious criminal offenses, like murder, to help track them down. That would include the suspect’s name and photo.

Departments say that’ll only happen if they’ve exhausted all other options.

The law takes effect on Dec. 1.

(WATCH PREVIOUS: Juvenile suspect wanted after man shot, killed in Monroe)

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