A story about a slaying in Hayward misspelled the name of the victim. The victim's name is Kristofer Prasinos
HAYWARD -- Family and friends say 16-year-old Kristofer Prasinos spent his life standing up for others.
Last month, at a Hayward park, he stepped in to defend a teenage girl being threatened at both gun and knife point.
That act of chivalry cost him his life.
Kristofer was found fatally shot near the Centennial Park baseball diamond at 24000 Amador St. about 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 18. The teen, who lived in Hayward, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
"He was just being protective. That's what he did," Kristofer's mother, Jessica Wright, said of her son's actions that day. "It's been a difficult road."
Friends and family described Kristofer as a friendly, charismatic and hardworking boy who loved skateboarding, the Oakland Raiders and the Oakland A's. He had recently fathered a son, who will turn six months old on Dec. 14.
Since age 14 -- except for a short stint at Mount Eden High School -- he participated in an area independent studies program at Quest Academy in San Leandro.
"His goal was to graduate early and his teacher told him if he kept up the way he was with his studies he could graduate this summer instead of next year," his mother said.
"Kris was very popular, very well liked," said his teacher, Susan Jensen. "Everybody was touched by him. As a student he didn't take it all that seriously, but it was the birth of his baby that really put the fire under him. He was getting his work done."
In addition to Quest, he worked part time at an area restaurant and attended classes with the Eden Area Regional Occupational Program with hopes of becoming a paramedic.
The week before his death, his mother said, he got his CPR certification.
"He was naturally athletic, strong, compassionate," Wright said. "He always knew how to help with people in a situation and keep them calm. He made people around him feel good. When he was younger he stood up for a kid that was disabled. He loved everybody."
But his path wasn't always smooth, his parents said.
He made some wrong choices in middle school hanging around the wrong kids — some who family confirmed were associated with northern California street gangs.
"But between the 9th and 10th grade he really got his act together and knew that wasn't right," his mother said.
Jacob Wright, his stepfather and a teacher and former football coach for San Lorenzo High School, said his stepson was focusing on being a good father, brother and worker.
In addition to his parents and his son, Kristofer leaves behind his brothers, Jacob, 6, and Joseph, 17.
On the day of his death, Kristofer attended a birthday party at the park for a 16-year-old Hayward girl, according to court documents. Before he got to the party, however, an confrontation began between a group of teenage girls and two alleged teenage gang members now charged in Kristofer's death.
Police say Josue Lupian, 16, and Daniel Nunez, 17, approached the group of girls who they knew from middle school and began yelling and proclaiming alliance with a Hayward criminal street gang. A majority of the girls they approached had at one time associated with members of rival gangs, according to court documents.
The teens left the park but returned a short time later, reigniting the confrontation. Lupian then pulled out a .40 caliber handgun which had been concealed in his waistband, police said. His accomplice pulled out a knife and began waving it at the girl as both suspects began shouting their allegiance to their gang.
Kristofer saw the knife and stepped in to protect the girl, and an argument started. As Nunez waived the knife, Lupian fired a single shot into the ground and Kristofer began to run away.
Lupian allegedly then fired four shots at Kristofer, striking him three times, court documents show. Police say that after Kristofer fell to the ground, one of the suspects laughed and the other "said something to the effect of, 'Now you know who you are messing with'" before the pair fled the park
Prasinos was found unconscious on a concrete walkway and later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Investigators determined that the two suspects had fled to a home in Modesto, where they were arrested after police conducted surveillance there. During a search of the home, officers found a .40 caliber handgun and court papers show Lupian admitted to being the shooter and a member of the Hayward gang.
Prosecutors have charged both teen suspects as adults in Kristofer's slaying and filed murder and gang enhancement charges against both of them who due in court Dec. 13 to enter a plea in their respective cases.
At the time of his death, police say, Kristofer was not a gang member nor actively participating in any gang-related activity. Police also confirmed he'd never been arrested.
On the day of his death, Kristofer attended his ROP program from 8-11 a.m. then went to school at noon. At 1 p.m., his mother said she dropped him at friend house in Hayward.
"It wasn't like he was in a dark alleyway hanging out at night, "Jessica Wright said. " This was in broad daylight after school. My son was a good kid doing normal kid stuff and it was really just a senseless act."
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.