EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Family and friends of Ryan Romero, 15, who was killed in a shooting over the weekend, gathered for a vigil at a Lower Valley park.

Romero’s loved ones releasing dozens of balloons into the sky as the air filled up with tears and “I love you Ryan” chants at the Ralph T. Cloud Park.

After a prayer, friends and family took a stand to speak a few words about him and Romero’s mother pleading for justice and for any witnesses to the shooting to come forward.

Ysleta Independent School District confirmed Monday morning that Romero was a student at Bel Air High School.

YISD sent the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of Bel Air High School student Ryan Romero, a victim of violence in Horizon this weekend. The Ysleta Independent School District sends its deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to Ryan’s family and to the Bel Air High School community. Our counselors are available for students and staff at Bel Air High School who may need additional help in dealing with this tragic news.”

Bel Air High School students spoke with KTSM saying Romero’s death is devastating.

“He was just a kid so for it to happen to him was horrible. I have a lot of my friends that know him and they are really broken right now,” one senior said.

Other students believe that the loose gun laws are to blame for the rise in gun-related incidents involving teens.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning at a desert party, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

A makeshift memorial was set up where Ryan Romero was shot and killed in Horizon City over the weekend. Photo by Karla Draksler

Horizon City Police responded first to the scene to the desert area of Batavia Street where shots were fired.

When authorities arrived, they encountered about 200 people at the party, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Romero died at the hospital from his injuries, and a woman was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office released an update Monday morning, stating that during the party there was a verbal argument between two male individuals.

Deputies say one of the individuals pulled out a handgun and “fired several rounds in the direction of others.”

Horizon Police Department Public Information Officer Heli Sierra said that they have units patrolling on the weekend around neighborhoods or desert areas where those parties occur.

He said that with nicer weather more parties pop up and with them, come dangers especially the combination of minors, alcohol and drugs.

“It’s not always someone who is involved directly. They can be bystanders and they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Sierra explained.

Sierra added that Horizon PD also works closely with El Paso Sheriff’s Office that has jurisdiction over some of the areas where those parties are common, such as Red Sands.

“I think it all starts at home, I really do,” Sierra said, warning parents to make sure they keep track of where their children are and monitor their social media.

Deputies say that no suspect has been identified.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate this incident and is asking for tips from anyone who attended the party or has knowledge of the incident.