Little Matthew Farias was a constant fixture at Unified Home in Orange, Calif., where a gunman inexplicably opened fire and killed four people.
Matthew, 9, was among the victims.
“He was always around,” Vania Tovar, whose father owned Unified Homes, told The Epoch Times. “Although we weren’t blood related, he was at every birthday party and event. Matthew was the most energetic little boy. He was so sweet and of course just so innocent. Just an innocent little human caught in a horrific tragedy.”
About 5:30 p.m. March 31, a man used bicycle-type locks to secure the gates leading to an office building at 202 W. Lincoln Avenue and opened fire. He was later shot by police, and was transported to hospital in critical but stable condition.
Matthew’s mother, Blanca Tamayo, survived the shooting. Her condition wasn’t immediately known. Tamayo’s adult daughter, 28-year-old Jenevieve Raygoza, was also killed.
Raygoza was Tovar’s half sister; they shared a father in Luis Tovar, who was also fatally shot.
Raygoza was the “sweetest woman alive,” her sister said.
“Not a cold bone in her body,” Vania Tovar told The Epoch Times April 2. “My sweet sister didn’t deserve this. She was never in a bad mood and always helped me in my decisions. We spoke every day. She was my sanity. She was my soul. I know all she would want now is to make sure her family is taken care of.”
Leticia Solís was also killed during the mass shooting.
A GoFundMe has been created for Matthew’s family.
Luis Tovar, a 50-year-old grandfather, was known as ‘the king’ to friends and family.
“We called him ‘The King’ because he was our king,” Vania Tovar said. “We thought it jokingly because he was the prom king his senior year in high school and the name stuck. He truly was a king.
“My heart is shattered,” she continued.
“He was so proud of the life he had and the foundation he build for our entire family is dismantled. He was our everything and the glue to the entire Tovar family. He was the best dad, the best grandfather to all of his grandchildren, and the most selfless person on the earth. If anyone was going through a rough time or was in a difficult situation they came to my dad.”
The suspected shooter, identified as 44-year-old Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, suffered a gunshot wound and was taken to hospital in critical but stable condition.
Gonzelez had most recently been living out of an Anaheim hotel room, and drove a rental car to the shooting scene, police said.
Vania Tovar said she recognized the suspect.
“He was the husband of an ex-employee who has not worked there for two years,” she said. “There was no business relation there.”
He was not mentally ill, she said.
“Everything was premeditated,” Tovar said. “He is not crazy. There is no insanity there. Just pure evil.”
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said he would do everything in his power to bring justice to the victims’ families.
“I’m here to make something very, very clear,” Spitzer told reporters. “Mr. Gonzalez is eligible for the death penalty. This is a special circumstances case, there were multiple victims. And we are now presently looking at whether he is locking of the front and the back gates constituted a lying in wait, which would also be eligible for death.”