Vigil held to remember teenager killed in El Paso attack

A vigil has taken place to remember a teenager who was killed in the El Paso mass shooting which left 22 dead.

Javier Rodriguez, 15, was with his uncle Octavio Lizarde when the gunman opened fire in a Walmart on Saturday.

Mr Rodriguez was in his second-year at Horizon High School just outside El Paso, Texas, before his death.

Javier Rodriguez was 15 years old
Image: Javier Rodriguez was with his uncle when he was killed
People became emotional as tributes were read out
Image: People became emotional as tributes were read out

The vigil took place at the high school’s football stadium where 22 doves were released in memory of those killed at the weekend.

Relatives of Mr Rodriguez released a dove in his memory and a choir sang the US national anthem and Earth Song by Frank Ticheli.

High school friends and Mr Rodriguez’s soccer coach paid tribute to the teenager before Democrat politician Beto O’Rourke, who was born in El Paso, spoke to those who had gathered.

Mr O’Rourke, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said: “In the face of intolerance, hatred and violence, this community is coming together and displaying an extraordinary strength.”

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Beto O'Rourke told those gathered that the violence would not define their community
Image: Beto O’Rourke told those gathered that the violence would not define their community
A choirs sang the national anthem and Earth Song by Frank Ticheli
Image: A choirs sang the national anthem and Earth Song by Frank Ticheli

He added: “Please understand that this violence will not define this community, nor will it define the Rodriguez family.

“Instead it is the love that you are showing right now, the love that all of us, the energy and the strength, that we are sending to you, that we will forever be known by.

“We will speak forever of Javier with pride and gratitude and love.”

The vigil took place on the Horizon High School's football field
Image: The vigil took place on the Horizon High School’s football field

The teenager’s uncle Mr Lizarde was shot in the foot during Saturday’s attack and remains in hospital.

He said: “All of a sudden I see people running and I hear gunshots.

“And I just told him, ‘Amir, duck!’ And he just shot him.”

In an interview from his hospital bed, Mr Lizarde said that he couldn’t stop thinking about his nephew.

He added: “He was like my son, my best friend.”

Mr Lizarde continued: “Physically I’m recovering, but mentally it’s stressful.

“It hurts.”

Suspect Patrick Crusius, 21, was arrested after the mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday.

He could face the death penalty if convicted over the massacre, where police first received reports of gunfire at 10.39am local time (4.39pm BST).

Several hours later, a gunman shot dead nine outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, before being killed by police within a minute.

Source: SKY NEWS

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