SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Neighbors say six-year-old Stephen Romero was a fun-loving fixture in his East San Jose neighborhood.

“I think it’s a tragedy, he was a six year old vibrant little kid who all the neighborhood loved.  He wasn’t doing anything to nobody.  It’s just senseless what happened,” neighbor Mario Ramos told KPIX 5.

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“It was very unexpected, very traumatic.  Right now we’re just trying to keep it together,” one of Ramos’ relatives said.

Family members at a home in East San Jose are dealing with the unspeakable tragedy of losing Stephen—plus the shooting of Stephen’s mother and his grandmother, all who were enjoying the Gilroy Garlic Festival before shots rang out.


“They tried to help him, but he didn’t make it. He was really good kid. He just turned six in June,” said Ramos’ uncle Noe Romero.

Romero said Stephen and his mom were shot by the same bullet.

“From my understanding, the bullet that hit Steven in the back travelled through his body and hit her in the abdomen as well,” said Romero.

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The mother, Barbara Aguirre was also shot in the hand and is undergoing surgery to reattach fingers according to family members.

Her mother, the boy’s grandmother, also named Barbara is also being treated for gunshot wounds and is expected to survive.

Today, co-workers of the younger Mrs. Aguirre gathered for a vigil outside the Santa Clara County Social Services Center in San Jose, where she’s a social worker.

“It’s the kind of thing that we hear around the country and you just hope it never happens to yourself. Everyone is just in a state of shock that it is actually here happening on our door step to our work family, our community,” agency director Bob Menicocci said.

Stephen Romero was the youngest victim, but only by seven years.

Thirteen year old Keyla Salazar, of San Jose was also fatally struck by gunfire.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family with funeral expenses.