NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Metro police investigate a 16-year-old’s shooting death, former coworkers are working to make sure he gets a proper burial in his home country.  

Diego Morente-Chiroy, originally from Guatemala, was found shot in a vehicle early Friday morning at the Emerson Apartments on Harding Place.  

Across town, employees at Burger Up in the 12 South neighborhood where Diego worked up until recently, remembered his dedication and drive.  

“His aunt worked here with us as well, so he would come and work in the kitchen after school through the week, so he was basically balancing school and work for a long time,” Diego’s former coworker, Troy Akers, said.  

Diego moved to the United States from Guatemala several years ago. Now, his work family is working to reunite him with more of his blood relatives following a local visitation and funeral.  

“We believe just his mother is the only other family member that’s here, so that’s even more heartbreaking to us, especially with most of his family being away,” Akers said. “The need right now is to help get him back to Guatemala where they can have proper burial.” 

To do that, Burger Up staff are working to raise $15,000 to transport Diego’s body to Guatemala. Portland Brew has also joined in to help raise funds in the 12 South community. 

“I think it’s a statement of love for us to his family, but also love to him. I can see his face burned in my brain today just because of who he was and who he was to this community and to other people that worked here,” Akers said.  

Donations can be made in person at Burger Up or Portland Brew, which goes to Diego’s family’s GoFundMe. You can donate to the family’s GoFundMe by clicking here.

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“If he meant that to us, in those small two years, I can’t imagine what depth and what grief his family’s feeling today,” Akers said.

If you have any information about last week’s deadly shooting, you are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Callers can remain anonymous and qualify for a $5,000 cash reward in homicide cases.