SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — One week ago, a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three. One of the victims was 13-year-old Keyla Salazar. She would have turned 14 years old Sunday, so her family gathered, determined to celebrate her life.
A large gathering was held at a park in San Jose with mariachis and a piñata. While there was fun, there were also many tears. During last Sunday’s shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Salazar was with family. When gunshots rang out, she stayed behind to help a relative who used a cane. She was killed shortly after that.
Salazar’s mourning family said they wanted to follow through with the plans for her would-be birthday, which turned into a memorial for the young lady, who was about to enter high school.
Her family released butterflies in her memory.
On top of the personal pain, her family says they are also reeling from the news of two other mass shootings in other parts of America–Ohio early Sunday morning and Texas on Saturday.
“It’s really hard. And I feel like as we’re healing and hearing of the news, it’s like, re-traumatizing, too,” said Katiuska Pimentel, Salazar’s aunt.
“It’s just devastating. Why do we have to lose someone so adorable and caring and so important to the community? You know, you’re harming people who are innocent, who have nothing to do with you and your pain, and why you would do that?”