Homicide investigation

Gwinnett police are searching for a man who shot and killed a teenage boy behind a gas station at 4555 Thompson Mill Road in Buford early Monday morning.

The victim has been identified as Branden Gerena, 15, of Buford. Gerena was a rising 10th-grade student at Buford High School. Detectives are still trying to identify the suspect.

Police said the homicide occurred just after midnight Monday. They were called after the teenager was shot, and he died from his injuries while being transported to a local hospital.

Police said they learned through a witness, a friend of the victim, that the two were at the location when the suspect approached and fired a shot, striking the victim, before fleeing on foot.

The suspect was described as a black man in his 20s wearing blue jeans, a black jacket with red lettering and a backwards baseball hat.

To share information, contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.

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Taylor Denman is a reporter born and raised in Gwinnett County. He came back home to seize the rare opportunity of telling stories about the county in which he grew up.

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