As authorities continue their investigation into Saturday’s shooting rampage, stories of the victims of the attack are coming to light. Seven people were killed; 25 were injured. Here are stories about some of Saturday’s victims.
“He’ll be a truck driver in heaven:” Raul Garcia was an #ElPaso husband, son, and father of four. This past weekend, his family said he was killed in the #Odessa #Midland shootings. HIS LEGACY: https://t.co/fDG2RKL36i pic.twitter.com/ebRGY0elIE— Kate Bieri (@KateBieri) September 3, 2019
Relatives say 35-year-old trucker Raul Garcia of El Paso was returning home to his family when he was shot. The father of four was identified by authorities in Odessa.
“Just like my son said, ‘Mom, now he’ll be a truck driver in heaven,'” Garcia’s wife, Perla Garcia, told KVIA-TV.
Luis Garcia tells KVIA-TV that his brother “would be there for everybody.”
Mary Granados, 29.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) September 2, 2019
Worked for @USPS in Odessa, TX
Had an identical twin sister.
Was working Saturday, & on the phone with her sister, when she was shot along her delivery route.
Her sister heard her scream.
A man hijacked her mail van & went thru town shooting people. pic.twitter.com/DKCyQtMsar
Mail carrier Mary Granados was alone in her U.S. Postal Service truck when she was shot and killed by a gunman who hijacked the white vehicle in West Texas amid his frenzy of violence.
Granados, 29, was among seven people between the ages of 15 and 57 killed Saturday. Another 22 were injured, including a toddler.
US Postal Service officials said in a statement Sunday that they were “shocked and saddened” by the events, but were “especially grieving the loss of our postal family member.”
The shooting began with a routine traffic stop where the gunman opened fire on police and then took off in a gold car, shooting randomly for more than 10 miles (16 kilometers). At some point during the turmoil, the gunman abandoned the car and stole the postal vehicle, killing Granados. Police finally used a marked SUV to ram the mail truck outside the Cinergy Movie Theater in Odessa, disabling the vehicle.
Learning my former classmate was killed during the Odessa Shooting is absolutely devastating for my community as well as for his family. Edwin Peregrino will live in the memories of all of those who came in contact with him. Edwin’s brother wife Bianca is asking for help pic.twitter.com/SI6KoONmzy— Tonny Loustaunau (@tonnyL13) September 2, 2019
Peregrino, 25, ran into the yard of his parents’ Odessa home to investigate after hearing gunshots, his sister, Eritizi Peregrino, told The Washington Post. The gunman speeding by the home opened fire, killing him.
“It happened at our home. You think you’re safe at your own house,” Eritizi Peregrino, 23, said in an interview. “You’re not even safe at your own house.”
Eritizi Peregrino’s husband also was shot. She said he is recovering.
Eritizi Peregrino said her brother was home for the weekend to talk about his new job and his new life in San Antonio.
“You could always count on him for anything,” she said. “He would always help my parents and his siblings. I knew I could always rely on him and call on him.”
This is Leilah Hernandez. She is a victim of the shooting spree that occurred this weekend in Texas. At 15, she had just celebrated her coming of age with a quinceañera. I don’t know her, but I wanted to say, RIP Queen. I’m sorry the world failed you 😔 pic.twitter.com/N8ARBYhx5L— Raul Ramos (@RRamos_Neuro) September 1, 2019
Leilah, 15, was with her family Saturday as her 18-year-old brother, Nathan, picked up a truck. Nathan and Leilah were shot while walking out of the dealership, her grandmother, Nora Leyva, told the Post.
“I guess he was just looking for someone to kill,” she said.
Leyva said Leilah’s mother pushed Leilah’s 9-year-old brother under a car. Nathan wrapped his arms around Leilah and was shot in the arm. Another bullet struck Leilah near her collarbone.
“Help me, help me,” the girl said as she died, Leyva said.
Leilah, an Odessa High School student, celebrated her quinceañera in May.
“It was like a dream for her,” Leyva said.
Odessa High’s school district, the Ector County Independent School District, didn’t name Leilah but said one of its students was among those killed.
Former math teacher Joseph Griffith, 40, was one of the seven people killed Saturday afternoon by a gunman on a drive-by shooting spree in the Odessa area, his older sister Carla Byrne told The Washington Post. https://t.co/QsCMizqElp— Maria Bonanno (@MariaBonanno9) September 2, 2019
Griffith was killed while sitting at a traffic light with his wife and two children, his oldest sister, Carla Byrne, told the Post.
“This maniac pulled up next to him and shot him, took away his life, murdered my baby brother. Like nothing,” Byrne said. “We are so broken.”
Byrne said Griffith, 40, worked six days a week to support his family. He was known for his sense of humor and an uncanny ability to impersonate people.
Griffith previously worked as a math teacher. One day before his death, a former student told Griffith what an “awesome teacher he was,” his sister said.
KAMERON KARLTESS BROWN
Lost someone who meant a lot to me and a lot of others yesterday in the shooting in Odessa. I understand if you can’t donate but a simple RT would mean the world.#OdessaShooting #odessastrong https://t.co/ocV8si4zpe— Damien (@DamienSalvador_) September 1, 2019
Kameron Brown, a 30-year-old Army veteran from Coleman, Texas, was on his way to work Saturday he was shot and killed in front of Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.
Brown, who graduated from Coleman High School, served in the Army for three years. During that time, he was a gunner in Afghanistan.
His mother, Mary Brown, told KTXS-TV in an interview that she forgives the shooter.
“That’s all I have now,” said Mary Brown. “The pictures and the memories. And thank God no one can take that away.”
RODOLFO “RUDY” ARCO
Rodolfo “Rudy” Arco, 57, was one of those shot and killed last week. His sister said he moved there after the shooting in Las Vegas because he thought Odessa would be safer. How heartbreaking is that?https://t.co/k1sEU44KyS— Jaye Baritsu (@JBaritsu) September 3, 2019
Rodolfo “Rudy” Arco, the owner of a trucking company who was killed in West Texas, had moved from Las Vegas after a 2017 mass shooting at a music festival because he thought it would be safer, a sister said.
Arco, a native of Cuba, “felt that Odessa was the place to go. He sold everything in Vegas and moved there, in the hopes that things would be safer for him and the family,” Maria Arco told the Arizona Republic.
Arco was shot and killed while driving home from work, according to a Go Fund Me page.
“Today my husband lost a dad a best friend,” Diana Laura Arco wrote in a Facebook post. “My children lost a grandpa. His children lost a father. I am watching my husband grasp on to what he has left.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.