SAN JOSE -- Poinsettias, bouquets and candles have been laid, and family and friends are mourning the loss of an 18-year-old Leigh High School graduate who was slain Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives continue to investigate the slaying, which marked a somber milestone for the city as it reached its highest homicide count in two decades with 44 people slain in 2012.
While authorities did not release the name of the victim, friends gathered Wednesday evening to remember Cody Sonenberg, a Leigh High School graduate who planned to join the U.S. Marines, like his brother.
They recalled his bright blue-green eyes that they called his "signature," and attested to his affable, goofball nature. But he also wanted to
"Everyone has been kind of at a loss for words," said Rebecca, 20. "The best thing I can say is not only was he determined, but he drove his friends to be determined as well."
Rebecca was gathered Wednesday night with two friends at the Fairhaven Drive site where Sonenberg was slain. All declined to give their last names "because we don't know what is going on."
Answers about the homicide are sparse and questions mount. Police were called to the spot about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday for reports of a vehicle crash.
They found a white pickup against a tree and the victim lying several feet away in the street. Initial reports suggested he was shot to death. Police did not release additional
Scars of the crime scene remained in the form of reddish-orange spray paint police used to mark the site, and the imprint of the truck's tires remained in fresh mud by the sidewalk.
At Sonenberg's family home, friends who answered the door declined to comment on behalf of the family.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.