‘El Romantico’: 6-year-old killed in Gilroy shooting was sharp dresser, loved cologne

Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

GILROY, Calif. (AP) — Three young people died when a gunman opened fire at a popular California food festival this past weekend. Two were children, including a 6-year-old who was a sharp dresser, and the other was a 25-year-old college graduate who loved sports.

Here’s what we know about the victims so far:

STEPHEN ROMERO

The 6-year-old died at a hospital after he was shot in the back.

The boy’s father, Alberto Romero, told the local media that he was at home in San Jose when his wife called to say that she, her mother and their son had been shot.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, maybe I was dreaming,” he said.

He rushed to the hospital to see his son.

“They told me he was in critical condition and that they were working on him,” he said. “Five minutes later, they told me he was dead.”

Stephen was called “El Romantico” by his uncle because of his good manners, his pressed, button-down shirts and his love of ballads by his favorite singer, The Weeknd.

“He wouldn’t leave the house unless he had cologne on,” Noe Romero told the local media.

He described the boy as “a very outgoing kid, very loving.”

The boy’s cousin is San Jose City Council member Maya Esparza, who said on Facebook she was “angry, so angry.” She added, “This violence has to stop.”

___

KEYLA SALAZAR

The 13-year-old from San Jose died at the scene. In photos posted on her aunt’s Facebook page, Keyla is seen dressed in pink, wearing a tiara of flowers and smiling as she poses with relatives.

“I have no words to describe this pain I’m feeling,” Katiuska Pimentel Vargas wrote. “Keyla you are an angel and we will miss you with all of our hearts. You were too young to be taken from us.”

___

TREVER IRBY

The 25-year-old was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan with a broad smile who majored in biology and graduated in 2017 from Keuka College in upstate New York, where he grew up.

He lived in the tiny town of Romulus, northwest of New York City.

Dionna Williams, Irby’s aunt, posted a photo online of her grinning nephew wearing a graduation cap and gown.

“My nephew was one of the victims of the Gilroy Festival in California,” Williams wrote. “Please pray for our family. RIP Trevor.”

Pictures on Irby’s Facebook page show him decked out in Steelers garb with his arm around his girlfriend, Sarah Warner.

Warner, also a Keuka alumnus, was with Irby at the festival but wasn’t hurt, college President Amy Storey said.

“We are shocked that this latest episode of senseless gun violence resulted in the loss of one of our recent graduates — graduates in whom we place so much hope because of their potential to create a brighter tomorrow,” Storey said in a statement.

Irby graduated in 2012 from Romulus High School.

“Trevor was a multi-sport athlete, member of the drama club, band and friend to everyone he knew here in Romulus,” school officials said in a statement. “Trevor was the type of student who could bring joy, laughs, and comfort to everyone he met.”

“This is heartbreaking,” Keuka alum Samantha Napolitano wrote.

Keuka College is planning a memorial for Irby at the campus that’s about 70 miles (113 kilometers) southwest of Syracuse, New York.


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