LORTON, VA (WUSA9) - A vigil for a grieving Fairfax County community is planned in Lorton for Maurice Berger, 17, who was gunned down in his neighborhood Wednesday night.
"It was around 10:30. It was two quick loud pops," recalled a man who heard the fatal shooting of Berger. Then he looked outside and saw a body.
Two shots, and the teenager lay dying right in front of steps to a Lorton apartment.
Maurice Anderson Berger lived in the neighborhood with his mother. His mother's boyfriend says Maurice has an older 27-year-old brother who lives in Maryland.
The family sent the following message:
"We would like to express our sincerest gratitude for the outpour of love, support, and concern from all who have heard of this tragedy. As you can imagine, we are deeply hurt over the loss of our loved one; words can't describe the full extent of our grief. Maurice will always be treasured and affectionately remembered for his kindness, humor, and warm spirit. We ask that anyone with information please speak only to the proper authorities and that our privacy is respected as we grieve."
"Maurice was a good kid. He was working. He had worked at Shoppers and recently got a new job at iHop. He was a good kid. Very respectful. My heart goes out to his mother," said a woman in the neighborhood who identified herself at "Miss Niecey."
Homicide investigators spent hours collecting evidence through the night and again today, combing through bushes and using a metal detector on the grass where the gun may have been fired.
The shooter got away. Witnesses told police they saw a car leaving the scene, but so far, that vehicle, and it's driver, are unidentified. Fairfax County Police are asking for the public's help in finding the killer.
"This neighborhood down at this end is mostly family-oriented. And it's just scary to think that there are kid rerunning around with weapons and doing thing deep enough to kill someone," said a father of a small child who did not want to be identified.
Maurice Berger was a senior at Bryant Alternative High School ten miles to north in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. Friends say he had previously transferred from South County High School.
"He was quiet. He was very nice. He kept to himself. He wasn't one of those kids that was a always looking for problems," said Bryant student Daniel Elias. He had just talked to Maurice yesterday.
Another student said he had been partnered in science class with Maurice the day before.
Many students at the small school were having a difficult time dealing with the violence death of their classmate.
"Just knowing that your not going to see that person ever again," said Elias.