MODESTO — Those who loved Cody Lea can’t believe they’re lighting candles to honor a life that just reached its 21st year last month.
The red ones are there because red was his favorite color.
“He was a great kid. He would always, he would always go the extra mile for you, that’s for sure, for his friends and his family,” said his best friend Donnie Galvan.
Galvan lives just a few blocks away from where a bullet took Lea’s life Tuesday night in Modesto.
“Every day, Monday through Friday, we’re together from 5 a.m till 6 p.m. for work. I mean we’re together 24/7. And then when it comes on the weekends, we’re right down the street from each other, so we hang out outside of work as well,” Galvan said, wiping away tears.
That fast friendship started just six months ago when Cody got his first real job with a roofing-related company — Pacific Supply.
“He reminded me of a little chihuahua that wanted to hang out with the big bulldog. He was always the little guy, but he was tough for his size,” Galvan said.
Lea’s toughness didn’t factor in his favor to Tuesday, when an area he and Galvan had always considered very safe took a deadly turn.
“This shouldn’t have happened here. This is a great neighborhood. He could have, nobody really knows what happened. So, he could have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. A kid like that wasn’t involved in anything crazy,” said Galvan.
“When we arrived here, the victim was near this intersection of Bear Cub and Hillglen. Where he was actually shot we don’t know quite yet,” said Modesto Police Sgt. Chris Adams.
Lea’s family was too emotional to speak out about the situation Wednesday, but Galvan has a message for those responsible for the pain so many are feeling now.
“He’s gonna have to pay the price to somebody higher than all of us, and when that day comes, he better be ready,” he said.
If you saw anything suspicious near Ustach Park Tuesday night or know anything that could help solve this case, Modesto police want to hear from you.