The bodies of Kasreeyal Hester, 17, and Mark Skipper, 15, were found Friday night inside a vehicle in the 800-block of Burr Street around 8:30 p.m. Friday, police said. An officer on patrol noticed the vehicle's driver-side door open.
Friday was Kasreeyal's birthday.
Gary police have not made any arrests. It is unclear why the boys, who were one-time football teammates, were targeted.
"They were always together. Most of the time, almost every day," said Arieal Caruth, the victims' friend.
Hester's family members said they believes the boys knew their killer. The boys were found in Kasreeyal's car, outside his home.
"He knew them. You get in the backseat of my son's car and chit-chat with him like you're cool and then you turn around and do this," Nakia Hester said.
Relatives said Hester had been out celebrating his birthday with Skipper after picking him up at his home.
The slayings have left the community in shock. There were prayers, hugs and tears at the vigil.
Skipper's classmates and teammates said he was a talented athlete who was a quarterback on the varsity football team at Morton High School in Hammond, Ind. He also played baseball.
"At first I didn't believe it, and then I read the newspaper article and it made me start crying. I couldn't deal with it. That was my lifetime friend," said Joseph Colvin, a friend of the Skipper.
"He was the funniest kid you'd ever meet," said Alberto Herrera, Skipper's teammate. "He was the coolest kid ever. Always had a smile on his face."
Kasreeyal's family said the teen had dreams of finishing high school and playing in the NFL.
"Whoever did it should just turn themselves in and my son will be in peace and I will be in peace," Nakia Hester said.