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Family, friends mourn Mead teen who was shot and killed

Owar Opiew was just 16 years old when he was shot and killed at a birthday party in Spokane Valley.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — The family and friends of 16-year-old Owar Opiew gathered to celebrate his life on Saturday, after it was tragically cut short earlier this month. 

Opiew's brother told KREM 2 in early February that he would be remembered as a brother to seven, a high school athlete and future designer. 

The parking lot of Cavalry Spokane was filled as mourners gathered to pay their respects. A Go-Fund-Me for the Opiew's funeral expenses raised $37,000. 

The Mead High School sophomore lost his life after he was shot and killed at a birthday party in Spokane Valley the first weekend of February.

"I was just shocked, I couldn't believe it was my brother," Owar's older brother, Orom Opiew, told KREM 2. "I never thought this could happen to my family."

Orom and Owar were close from birth, shooting hoops outside until the sun went down, going to the other's sporting events or just supporting each other's goals.

"I'm the older brother, I wanted to lead them, protect them," he added. "I should have done something but there was nothing I could do."

Deputies responded to multiple calls of gunshots in the 900 block of South Beige Road on Saturday, Feb. 6, according to Spokane County Sheriff's Corporal Mark Gregory. When officers got there, they found Opiew lying on the ground.  

Deputies attempted to provide life-saving aid to the teen until Spokane Valley Fire and AMR arrived and took over medical care. However, the teen was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Orom found out about his brother's passing via text, as he was almost 3 hours away at college.

"I just broke down. It was like taken by full storm," he said. "People say cherish your loved ones and tell them we love them every day, but you don't expect this."

Major Crimes detectives were called to the scene to conduct an investigation. They were at the scene throughout the night collecting evidence, Gregory said. Partygoers did not want to speak to them, and they have very little information on the crime, he added. 

Investigators said there is limited information about potential suspects. 

"He was friendly with anyone and everyone, like that side of it doesn't portray who he is as a person," Orom added. "He's always going to be loved and give love, that's who he is."

"He won't get to live out his dreams," he said. "He was really bright and artistic, he wanted to work with clothes."

Mead High School also mourning the loss of Owar, adding that they have a crisis team that the community can access at any point - whether you are studying in person or remote. 

Zeidler says they know how hard it is that the community can't be together right now. Pushing to give students more of a sense of belonging, the school has provided psychologists, resources within the school and resources outside for support. 

"People handle grief in many different ways," he added. "We just want to be there to support them in the way that they need it."

Orom said finding out who is responsible for his brother's death will help his family heal because Owar deserves it.

"You'll feel loved right away, doesn't matter who you are, he was there for you," Orom said about his brother's character. "If you had nothing to wear, he’d give you the shirt off his back because that's who he was." 

A GoFundMe campaign is in place to help the Opiew family with funds for his funeral expenses.

Major Crimes detectives are asking for help from anyone who witnessed the incident or has information about what happened leading up to the shooting, Gregory said. 

Detectives are also asking anyone who lives around the 900 block of S. Beige Road to turn over any relevant home security footage and report any suspicious vehicles or activity between 11 p.m. on Feb. 6 and 1 a.m. on Feb. 7. 

Tips and information should be reported to crime check at 509-456-2233, reference case number #10015890.

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