ODESSA, Texas (KFDA/KOSA) - Funeral services began today with public viewings for three victims of Saturday’s mass shooting.
Friends and loved ones carrying flowers and other mementos fled into St. Mary’s Church to remember the youngest victim of the mass shooting, Leilah Hernandez.
Her life, cut short at just the age of 15, as she and her brother were shot while leaving a car dealership.
“I think it’s so hard for the family to lose a daughter that young,” said Elodia, an Odessa resident. “And so I think we need to get together and support the family because this is the time they need it the most.”
25-year-old Edwin Peregrino had just moved to San Antonio. He was visiting family in Odessa when he and his brother-in-law ran outside to investigate the gunshots.
They were shot in the front yard of his parents’ home along Walnut.
His brothers and sisters say he was a family man and loved to travel.
“He was a very happy person, he enjoyed life, he enjoyed spending time with my nephew and my niece,” said Edwin’s brother, Edgar Peregrino. “My son lives with my family, so he would always pick him up from school when he had the opportunity.”
“If I needed him, I knew I could just call him,” said Eritzi Peregrino. “He was there for anybody. He was a kind person, very happy person, very happy person.”
His family will not have to bear the cost of the funeral, as La Paz Perches Funeral Home is providing the final services free of charge.
“I never thought these tragedies would happen,” said Salvador Perches, the president of Perches Funeral Homes. “You hear that it happened in other states and other cities, but it’s just something new to our area. It’s just tragic. It’s something that, someone needs to help and that’s just a little way that I can help the community.”
A viewing service was held for Mary Granados at St. Joseph’s.
Mary was working her mail carrier route in central Odessa when the gunman shot and killed her, then hijacking her US Postal Service mail van.
Even those who didn’t personally know Mary say they still hurt with her family.
“I came to pay my respects to this ugly tragedy. We never know when or where it’s going to happen to us,” said Hector, an Odessa resident. “It still hits home, hits the heart because I got four kids and grandkids, and we never know when or where.”