SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man suspected of being partly responsible for killing a 17-year-old Sacramento Charter High School star athlete in October.
Police have already arrested one suspect in connection to that homicide but now many are hoping someone will help police identify the second suspect.
Since October, Sacramento Charter High School Head Dean Ken Powell said there has been a hole in the community surrounding the campus.
“Jaylen was a special soul,” Powell told FOX40. “He brought energy to the campus, a lot of kids do, but he always had a smile on his face. Never had a bad day, you know, never was in any type of trouble.”
Jaylen Betschart was the school’s starting varsity quarterback and a star pitcher on the baseball team. Powell said the 17-year-old had dreams of playing both sports at the University of Oregon next fall.
“There’s a lot of kids still and you can imagine why they are still mourning over his death,” Powell said.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 3, Betschart was shot while driving his car home near Granite Regional Park, in the area of Power Inn Road and Folsom Boulevard in Sacramento. Police say he had crashed into a power pole.
“When officers arrived on scene, they located the victim with at least one life-threatening gunshot wound. That individual was then transported to the hospital where he was later declared deceased,” said Sacramento Police Officer Ryan Woo.
While Sacramento police say they have arrested the primary juvenile suspect they believe was responsible, detectives also believe he had help killing Betschart.
“To the extent that he was involved, I can’t speak to that right now. But he is believed to be involved in that in some degree,” Woo explained.
That’s why the department released a photograph of the second suspect, hoping someone can help them identify him.
“An individual with a heavy build and a white T-shirt,” Woo said. “And he’s driving what’s believed to be a 2012 Dodge Avenger.”
“We can’t bring Jaylen back but what we can do is make things right by telling authorities the right thing to do,” Powell said.
Meanwhile, Powell said the pain of losing Betschart was still impacting so many at the school.
“Some don’t even want to play football anymore,” he said. “Some don’t want to come from distance learning to come up to the school and, you know, he was a big imprint on what we do.”
He keeps Betschart’s photo up in his office as a reminder to remain optimistic his legacy will endure on campus and beyond.
“I do believe that a lot of kids are going to live through him and they’re going to move on and do big things outside of Sacramento High School, out of Sacramento. And do things for this country that are going to be great and they’re going to carry his legacy on,” Powell said.
The juvenile suspect police arrested for the crime is currently awaiting trial.
If you do recognize the second suspect or his car, you are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers or the Sacramento Police Department. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.