Loved ones struggle to make sense of shooting death that took 16-year-old Clifton boy's life

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CLIFTON, Colo. (KKCO) - Family, friends and neighbors are trying to make sense of the tragic shooting that took the life of 16-year old Troy Martinez.

The family of Troy Martinez describes him as a respectful and sweet young man who loved to draw and ride his BMX bike. His young life was cut tragically short Wednesday afternoon when he was shot and killed while visiting a friend's home on Susan Street in Clifton. That friend has been identified by neighbors as Kenny Kates. When Cindy Greenough saw that it was him being led away by deputies, she says she couldn't believe it.

"I was sad. I was like, 'Kenny, no!" she says.

Greenough says she spoke with Kates just minutes before the shooting. "Before all the cops got here, he was visiting here. He was going to get a pop for his mom and then he was going to mow my grass."

According to witnesses, Martinez and Kates were playing with a 22 caliber rifle when it went off. A friend of both boys, who did not want to be identified, says he highly doubts the shooting was intentional.
"I hear people say they think Kenny is the one who did it, but I don't believe that for one second," says the friend.

Kates was taken into custody but never arrested. Investigators say they remain focused on "putting all the puzzle pieces" together in this case. The shooting came as a shock to residents of this normally quiet block.

"We've lived here since 1978 and there has never been anything like this before," says Greenough.

But shock doesn't even begin to describe what the family and friends of Troy Martinez are going through. In a statement, the Martinez family says, "Troy was fun going and full of life and liked by everyone. He loved going fishing and camping with his family. When you got to know him, he was a sweet guy. Troy is already deeply missed by everyone who loved him. Troy was a great friend and a great person and he is going to be remembered forever."

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