Family of New Year’s Eve shooting victim reflects on memories together

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The cousin of the late Jesus Noel Soto-Villareal, the victim of a deadly shooting that took place on New Year’s Eve, is speaking out about how he will be missed.

Soto-Villareal was shot at 6th and Leland in East Topeka. Police said Soto-Villareal arrived at a local hospital without help from EMS, where he later died on Dec. 31.

Family members tell KSNT News that he lit up a room and he was taken too soon.

His cousin, Jesus Soto, saw him just hours before the shooting and a day later, all he has is memories.

“We kind of grew up together me and him,” Soto said. “So we would always have sleepovers. We were always just out doing stuff. Riding bikes.”

Soto looks back on those times with his cousin and said he will miss his energy the most.

“He was just this huge character. He just had this presence to him when he was in the room. It was warm,” said Soto.

Family get-togethers are a big deal for their family and he already knows his cousin’s presence will be missed by all.

The investigation into his death is still underway. Police said they have identified and investigated everyone involved in the shooting. Through this, they have found that everyone involved does know each other.

The Topeka Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding this investigation email or call the Topeka Police Criminal Investigation Bureau at (785) 368-9400. You can also leave an anonymous tip with Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-0007.

You can donate to the family’s GoFundMe account, where all funds will be going towards funeral expenses.

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