NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- On Wednesday night, the New Braunfels community celebrated a young life cut short. New Braunfels High School student 17-year-old Conrad Kuntz was murdered over the weekend.
The vigil for the star athlete was held at the New Braunfels City Tub Chute, where Kuntz worked as a life guard. There were no dry eyes in the crowd as hundreds showed up to plant a tree in his memory. It’s something that park leaders say will honor his memory forever.
The vigil was a sea of orange, Conrad’s favorite color, where he spent most of his summer days.
Conrad was a swimmer, on his way to becoming team captain.
“Conrad, he always brought that energy, you know? He made us want to work when we were tired and sore. And when we had to meet the next day, he always made us want to get up,” one teammate said. “He was just that motivation for us to keep going and stay strong and work as a team.”
Balloons were released in his memory and the tree was planted will forever sit over a lake he used to love so much, where he worked as a lifeguard.
“As the balloons rose, I felt I was getting closer to him and I can feel a connection,” one friend said. “It was almost like I was able to be with him one last time.”
Many wrote notes containing their fondest memories with Conrad.
“It amazes me that someone could do this to someone’s son, friend,” one person said. “It shocks me that the world’s like this, and it breaks my heart.”
Conrad was shot and killed, allegedly by fellow teens 15 and 16 years old, over the weekend.
“He’s everyone’s guardian angel. Now he’s watching over us.”
According to the New Braunfels Police Department, the two teenage suspects are in custody, one of whom was arrested and charged on Wednesday morning.