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Soccer teammates score one last goal in honor of American boy, 16, killed in Mexico

The American teen who was shot dead by a police officer in Mexico was sent off with his last soccer goal in a touching tribute by his soccer teammates. 

The heartbreaking gesture took place last Thursday in the southern state of Oaxaca before Alexander Martínez, a 16-year-old from North Carolina, was laid to rest.

Friends and family members are heard in the background of the viral video shouting ‘Lets Go Chander’ – the teenager’s nickname – before one of the young boys passed the ball to another teen who subsequently kicked it off the side of Martínez’s coffin, which was lying on the ground of a playground soccer pitch before it slowly rolled into a wall that served as the goal. 

The heartbroken teammates then kneeled over the casket before yelling out a celebratory cheer for Martínez. 

Alexander Martínez was shot by a police officer in Acatlán de Pérez Figueroa, Mexico, last Tuesday night

Alexander Martínez's soccer teammates honored him by setting up a final goal tribute in which the ball was kicked off the coffin and rolled into a wall that served as net

Alexander Martínez’s soccer teammates honored him by setting up a final goal tribute in which the ball was kicked off the coffin and rolled into a wall that served as net

The goal keeper dives after the ball clearly crossed the goal line in an emotional tribute to Alexander Martínez, who was shot dead by a police officer last Tuesday in Oaxaca, Mexico

The goal keeper dives after the ball clearly crossed the goal line in an emotional tribute to Alexander Martínez, who was shot dead by a police officer last Tuesday in Oaxaca, Mexico

In April 2019, he moved from North Carolina to the southeastern state of Oaxaca in hopes of one day playing in Mexico’s top soccer division. He was awarded a prep school scholarship and signed on play for a third division team affiliated with Liga MX’s Monterrey.

‘I hope that for all your fellow Rayados and close friends, you will be a great EXAMPLE, of seeking that dream, of not giving up, of having that hunger to go out and do the impossible to achieve it,’ wrote Jona Galindo, one of his coaches, on a Facebook post.  

Martínez was killed last Tuesday by a police officer, identified as Sergio, in his parent’s hometown of Acatlán de Pérez Figueroa.

He was awaiting a pizza delivery for a friend’s birthday party and was among a group of teens who decided to ride on motorcycles to pick up soda at a local gas station. They were suddenly intercepted by the police, whose patrol pickup truck siren lights were turned off.  

Teammates kneel and hover over the coffin of Alexander Martínez, the 16-year-old boy from North Carolina who was shot dead by a cop, who reportedly confused him with a criminal and said he thought the teen was carrying a weapon

Teammates kneel and hover over the coffin of Alexander Martínez, the 16-year-old boy from North Carolina who was shot dead by a cop, who reportedly confused him with a criminal and said he thought the teen was carrying a weapon 

Friends and family members held a protest in Oaxaca, Mexico, last Friday

Friends and family members held a protest in Oaxaca, Mexico, last Friday

Alexis Martínez (left) called on the United States government to send federal agents to support Mexican officials in the investigation of the death of his younger brother, Alexander Martínez (right)

Alexis Martínez (left) called on the United States government to send federal agents to support Mexican officials in the investigation of the death of his younger brother, Alexander Martínez (right)

The cop then unloaded his shotgun, striking Martínez in the head. 

The police officer, who over the weekend was placed in pre-trial detention and is facing a homicide charge, also shot 15-year-old Carlos Ramos in the head. He remains hospitalized but in stable condition. 

The officer allegedly mistook Martínez and his friend for criminals.

In an interview with DailyMail.com last Friday, the family pleaded for the United States government and the Trump administration to intervene in the investigation.  

‘I really want the United States government, President Trump to see this and that he send us support because this should not stay that way. They murdered one American citizen and tried to kill the other, but they did not succeed,’ Alexis Martínez told DailyMail.com in a telephone interview.

‘I don’t know which agency will be sent here to Mexico to investigate, because he was an American citizen and I really feel that they should help us. Right now the consulate here is helping us. But I would really like someone to be sent to investigate.’ 

Alexander Martínez moved to Mexico in 2019 to follow his dream of developing into a soccer star and played for a third division affiliate of Liga MX's Monterrey

Alexander Martínez moved to Mexico in 2019 to follow his dream of developing into a soccer star and played for a third division affiliate of Liga MX’s Monterrey

A memorial set up for Alejandro Martínez, the 16-year-old American from North Carolina, who was mistaken for a criminal and gunned down by the police while he was riding a motorcycle to pick up soda in at a gas station in Mexico on Tuesday

A memorial set up for Alejandro Martínez, the 16-year-old American from North Carolina, who was mistaken for a criminal and gunned down by the police while he was riding a motorcycle to pick up soda in at a gas station in Mexico on Tuesday 

Fearing they were going to be ambushed – the city of Acatlán de Pérez Figueroa is often the center of violent events involving criminal organizations – Alexander Martínez and the rest of the teens ignored the cops and kept going before the shots were fired.

A town resident saw the moment one of the police officers planted a gun on Martínez’s right hand and rushed at the cop to stop him from possible tainting the shooting scene before other villagers rushed the site amidst the commotion.

‘When the cop saw that the woman noticed …  she told him why was he doing that and he only stood quiet and took the gun away. He didn’t say anything,’ Alexis Martínez said. 

The 19-year-old accused the police of covering up the crime because they told the family that the police officer who shot his brother fell off the pickup truck’s flatbed, causing his service weapon to go off and kill Alexander Martínez.

‘That is a vile lie. They are putting the rope around their necks,’  Alexis Martínez said. ‘There are already two excuses when neither is true. They had the lights off. It was not a checkpoint. They didn’t say, ‘hey stop’ or something.’  

Yair Martínez, a cousin of Alexander Martínez, told DailyMail.com the family was told that a ballistic test done on the police officer, who was arrested for shooting the teen, came back negative. However, the family said they did not believe the investigator’s findings. 

The distraught brother choked up as he recalled the times Martínez would run up to him and greet him with a hug as soon he got off the school bus in North Carolina while growing up. 

He was protective of his older sibling and would constantly defend him against other boys back home during their early years.

The family was fully supportive of Martínez’s decision to relocate to Mexico in April 2019 in support of his dream of becoming a soccer star. His talents on the pitch quickly caught the eyes of the University of the Gulf of Mexico, which offered him a prep school scholarship and signed him on to its third division team, an affiliate of the Liga MX’s Monterrey.

‘It is not fair that because of some policemen, who are not trained to be policemen, he is dead and was confused by someone who was not,’ Alexis Martínez said.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk