Blue balloons for Anthony Boro | Editor's Note

By Sara Bruestle | Oct 12, 2016

While the creepy clowns are an eerie phenomenon, I was creeped out last week before any clowns were spotted in Mukilteo. (See this week’s top story.)

I wrote about a Mariner High School sophomore’s murder almost exactly a year after he died. It was a strange coincidence.

Anthony Boro, 16, was shot to death on Oct. 6, 2015, at an apartment complex near Lynnwood.

Two men have since been found guilty of killing him: Jesse Ray Landrum, 20, was convicted of second-degree murder, and Charles Courtney was convicted of first-degree murder.

My story about Courtney’s conviction ran in the Mukilteo Beacon earlier this month, on Oct. 5. Creepy, right?

While Landrum is serving 15 years in prison, Courtney has yet to be sentenced.

Anthony was shot to death around 1 a.m. in the Atria apartment complex in the 16500 block of Larch Way. It is unclear why he had been there.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner determined that Boro died from a gunshot to the back. His death was ruled a homicide.

Anthony’s murder was likely a case of mistaken identity. It was determined that neither of the men knew the teen.

I attended the vigil on Oct. 6 at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park in remembrance of Anthony on the anniversary of his death.

Since his death last year, he has not been far from my mind. Especially after the shooting on July 30 in which three Kamiak High School grads were killed at a Mukilteo house party.

His classmates wore blue – Anthony's favorite color – to the vigil in his honor. Some of them also had on “Boro Strong” and “RIP Anthony” sweatshirts.

Family and friends wrote notes to Anthony on blue balloons and paper lanterns before releasing them into the sky. They expressed their sadness that a year has already passed.

“We’re all mourning, it hurts, but I want everyone to think of Antony’s death in the best way possible,” said Oleg Didok, Anthony’s best friend. “His death should be not in vain but be an example. Anthony wouldn’t want that.

“One day he was here, and the next day he was gone, so live your life to the fullest.

“In 16 years, he tried in his life to be the best person he could be. That’s why we all loved and respected Anthony. He has one of the biggest hearts.”

Anthony had lived with his grandparents in Everett since he was 5 years old.

He played football his freshman year at Mariner, and planned to join the baseball team as a sophomore.

Anthony also had become interested in his Latino heritage – he was half Mexican – and signed up for Spanish class and danced at his friends’ quinceañeras last year. His girlfriend helped him with that.

While I met Anthony’s grandma last year, I met even more of his family at last week’s vigil. His dad, his brother, his girlfriend.

I helped tie strings onto balloons. I handed out markers to his classmates. I even wrote my own note to the teen.

I wrote: “Though I didn’t know you, I grieve for you. You are loved, and you are missed.”

It struck me as odd that while I have typed his name dozens of times in stories following his death, I had never written it by hand. The first time was in marker on a balloon.

As we watched the balloons and lanterns float into the sky, his friends and family shared stories of Anthony.

“Thank you for loving Anthony as much as I love Anthony,” said Anthony’s dad, Danny Boro. “I love my son so much. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I can’t believe he’s gone.”

I wasn’t the only one there to pay respects to Anthony without knowing him.

The lead detective on Anthony’s case was also there. I knew it was her because she flashed a hot pink Sheriff’s detective’s badge. (I didn’t know they made them in pink!)

After hearing so many stories, I think I would have liked him.

“I didn’t really know Tony that well, but when I transferred to Mariner High School, he was the first person to actually say anything to me,” said Trevon Wood. “That meant a lot to me because I didn’t know anybody at school. The fact that he would do that says a lot about him.

“I remember when I met him, at first I thought, ‘Yo, why is this guy so happy all the time?’ He was super enthusiastic all the time, but over time, it made him stand out from everybody else, and I really respected that.”

Anthony’s girlfriend of two years, Anna Hernandez, shared another story about him on Oct. 6.

“The second time Anthony asked me out – because the first time didn’t really count – he wrote this thing where I had to answer the questions,” Hernandez said. “He thought it was really unique, but if you Google how to ask a girl out, that’s probably the first thing that pops up, but he thought it was the most unique thing.”

It turns out that girlfriend questionnaire was his Plan B.

“He told me that he had planned to moon me and [have the question] ‘Will you go out with me?’ on his butt,” she said. “He said, ‘I would have even let you take pictures and put it on Facebook, but your mom wouldn’t write it for me.’”

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable." – John Kenneth Galbraith

POLICE LOG OF THE WEEK: Police responded to a hang-up call with the sounds of a disturbance. Two brothers had been in a physical altercation with each other. It was determined that one brother assaulted the other. He was arrested for fourth-degree assault and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.

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