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'I just wish he was here': Brooklyn Park parents mourn son killed by gun violence

Seventeen-year-old Syoka Siko was shot at an apartment and found in a vehicle on I-94 before dying at the hospital, according to police.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Alvera Voss could look at photos of her son all night.

"I just wish he was here. These photos give me joy," Alvera said, flipping through memories on her cell phone Tuesday night.

Momentary joy for Alvera and her husband Fred Voss, who've spent the last four days in shock and grief since the shooting death of their son.

Syoka Siko was found with gunshot wounds in a vehicle on Interstate 94, Friday just before 9 p.m., according to Brooklyn Park police. They say he and one other person had been shot in an apartment complex on Regent Avenue in Brooklyn Park. The details of what happened and how they ended up stopped on the highway are unclear. Syoka died at the hospital.

"It was shock and disbelief. We can not believe this was happening. We still can't believe it," Fred Voss said.

Syoka's dad Fred helped foster the 17-year-old's love for basketball. Nicknamed "SK," he was a member of last year's state champion team from Park Center High School. Syoka grew up playing every sport along with fishing and boating. 

Syoka was born in Minnesota after his mom immigrated from Tanzania and created a blended family with Fred.

Alvera is so proud of Syoka's academic achievements, including his recent foray into barbering.

But as joyful as it is to reminisce, Syoka's death and the way he died is a lot for these parents to bear.

"It's so painful that I couldn't prevent it," Alvera said. "But apparently there are guns everywhere that are just being used like toys everywhere."

The family has a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral expenses.

Brooklyn Park Police arrested one teen who's been released without charges.

The family wanted to thank the chief for personally visiting them, as well as the Park Center basketball team and the Twin Cities Swahili community for lifting them up this week.

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