12-year-old among suspects in man's murder during struggle in front of parents at family store

FRESNO, Calif. -- Christopher Leon, 22, was shot and killed right in front of his mother and step dad Saturday night, while trying to protect his family's business from an attempted robbery. It's an image they said they will never forget.

"My brother was a very humble person, kind, loved, respectful to everyone," said the victim's sister.

Family members said Leon was installing equipment at the Stereo and DJ Outlet and Maris Jewelry when he heard a commotion - suspects attempting to run off with jewelry.

Leon's sister said during the altercation Leon held one of the suspects down to avoid anyone getting hurt. That suspect pulled out a gun, and shot Leon twice in the mouth.

"We were all going crazy praying and asking for hope - trying to have faith that my brother was still going to be here with us, and that never happened, never seen my brother again," she said.

Police caught two suspects involved in the robbery-turned-murder, but his sister said neither are Leon's killer. She said it was the worst feeling seeing the people face to face who were involved in her brother's murder for the first time in court Wednesday, and can't believe they are so young.

"It's sad to know there was a 12-year-old involved, a small 12-year-old who comes out crying. I wish they would have thought about this before," she said.

Now, the family is praying for his killer to be caught, and they won't have closure until the person who tore their family apart is off the streets.

Leon's sister said the arraignment for the two minors in custody has been continued for Thursday, and police said they are still following up on leads for the other people involved.
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