The 18-year-old killed Saturday, Jan. 28, at a Boulder Creek party—Rowan Parham—was described as a man who loved his friends and family, a sentiment returned by those who knew him.
“Anyone that knew Rowan, knew that he was an extraordinarily loyal friend with a quick wit, an infectious laugh and a smile that always lit up the room,” said Philip Wartena in a GoFundMe for the family.
Parham previously attended Soquel High School—at the time of his death, he attended Oasis High School, a Santa Cruz County Office of Education program with a campus at Cabrillo College.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 1000 block of Brimblecom Road at about 10pm for multiple reports of a shooting.
Witnesses said players from the San Lorenzo Valley High School girls soccer team and cheerleading squad were at the party when several uninvited people arrived, including the 16-year-old suspect.
Witnesses said that Parham put his hand on the suspect’s shoulder when the suspect turned around and shot him.
The suspect then rode away on a dirt bike after the shooting. He is not being named because he is a juvenile.
Two attendees performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but Parham was pronounced dead at the scene.
San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District Superintendent Christopher Schiermeyer said that the school district contacted its mental health counselors at SLV High School, Coast Redwood High School and the County Office of Education for additional counseling support.
He added that the district, on behalf of Parham’s family, is asking for donations to help cover funeral expenses and a celebration of life.
The incident is still under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 831-471-1121.Parham’s family has set up a GoFundMe page: gofund.me/0b1f3b0e