Things That Matter

Another Texas Shooting Kills 7, Including Teen Who Just Celebrated Her Quince

It started as a minor traffic violation stop in Midland, Texas, when the driver took aim at the citing officer and engaged in a 20 mile-long shooting spree that ended in Odessa, Texas. Today, families are mourning the 7 people killed, and praying for the recovery of 19 people who were injured in Odessa, Texas. Among the dead is Leila Hernandez. She was 15 years old, and had just celebrated her quinceañera. Her brother, Nathan, remains hospitalized, recovering from a surgery to treat his injuries.

Authorities have not released the name of the shooter, but say he was a white man in his 30’s.

Police have not yet confirmed a motive, or the identity of the shooter.

@JamesMelville / Twitter

The shooter was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer on Saturday at 3 p.m. for a minor traffic violation, when he opened fire on the officer. As the gunman fled the scene along I-20 toward Odessa, he embarked on a shooting spree, killing and injuring people along the way. At one point, he abandoned his car to hijack a mail truck, which he drove to nearby movie theater, where he would later die during a shoot-out with police. The rampage has left reports of 19 to 21 people injured, including three police officers.

Of the victims is Mary Granados, a postal service worker who was killed as the suspect hijacked her truck.

Leslie Aide / GoFundMe

Mary was on the phone with her twin sister, Rosie, when the shooter attacked her. “It was very painful. I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t. I thought she had got bite by a dog or something. I tried calling her name and she wouldn’t answer,” Rosie told a reporter.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses. “She was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!” writes the GoFundMe organizer, Leslie Aide. Granados is survived by her twin sister, Rosie Granados.

Leila Hernandez would have started school tomorrow.

Hernandez played for the Odessa High School basketball team. The superintendent of the school has promised to provide grief counseling services to students, staff and families. “Please help out our family as we had a tragedy today,” pleas the GoFundMe for both Leila and her brother’s medical and funeral expenses. Friends and family are expressing their grief and condolences via social media, on man commenting, “So tragic. Not long ago she was celebrating her (rite) of passage to becoming a beautiful young woman. Rest easy. Prayers for the family.”

Leila had just celebrated her quinceañera in May.

Makeup by Jeremy / Facebook

Leila’s quinceañera make up artist shared that they were “in total shock and disbelief.” In a Facebook post, they said, “I had just did Leila’s makeup and her family’s back in May for her quinceañera. Unfortunately this beautiful sweet soul was victim to the shootings that took place in Odessa today. Prayers to you Joanna Leyva and may God be there for you and your family through this difficult time. ???? RIP ????????”

A 17-month-old baby has sustained injuries from bullet shrapnel that have left holes in her lip and tongue.

Haylee Wilkerson / GoFundMe

Her front teeth were knocked out. “Anderson is 17 months old, has shrapnel in her right chest, which thank God is superficial,” writes the medical expense GoFundMe organizer. “She has a hole through her bottom lip and tongue and her front teeth were knocked out. She is alive. When others today are not alive.” Nearly $125,000 have been raised for baby Anderson in just 16 hours.

“This is f—ed up,” Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke told reporters. “Profanity is not the f-bomb. What is profane is a 17 month-old baby being shot in the face.”

@amjoyshow / Twitter

“The rhetoric that we’ve used — the thoughts and prayers that you just referred to — it has done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence. To protect our kids, our families, our fellow Americans in public places. As a Walmart in El Paso Texas, where 22 were killed. In Sutherland Springs, in a church,” O’Rourke told a reporter. “One or two a day all over this country, 100 killed daily in the United States of America. We’re averaging about 300 mass shooting a year. No other country comes close. So yes, this is f—ed up,” he said. “If we don’t call it out for what it is, if we’re not able to speak clearly. If we’re not able to act decisively, then we will continue to have this kind of bloodshed in America, and I cannot accept that.”

Meanwhile, Texas Representative Matt Schaefer responded to the shooting to defend the “God-given” Second Amendment right.

Representative Matt Schaefer / Facebook

Gun reform activist group Newtown Action is imploring Texas voters to “say NO to Rep. Matt Schaefer at the polls,” after he ‘spewed’ NRA rhetoric in response to the shootings. In a Facebook post, Rep. Schaefer listed all the ways he won’t “do something” about the mass shootings, and instead blamed single mother households and a need for prayer as the solution.

Schaefer minimized U.S. mass shootings as “the evil acts of a handful of people.”

@ajeffery24 / Twitter

In a follow up post, Schaefer claimed to understand both the problem and solution to mass shootings. “Godless, depraved hearts,” he posted. “That IS the root of the problem. Every person needs a heart transformed by faith in God through Jesus. May God be near to those suffering in Odessa and Midland, and everywhere that evil has struck a blow.

Hours later, new gun laws went into effect in Texas to loosen existing restrictions.

@GregAbbott_TX. Twitter. 28 October 2015.

A series of bills were passed in June, which will now allow licensed gun owners to leave weapons in cars parked in school parking lots, allow guns in some foster homes, and in places of worship. It also bans landlords from prohibiting firearms from their property, and allows residents to carry handguns while evacuating from a disaster area. Trump maintains that background checks wouldn’t have stopped the shooting.

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Instead Of Celebrating Her Quince, This Teen Donated It All To Help Victims Of Covid-19

Things That Matter

Instead Of Celebrating Her Quince, This Teen Donated It All To Help Victims Of Covid-19

JiromyXool / Facebook

Few days are as important or as celebrated as a teenager’s 15th birthday. So imagine the level of selflessness one must have to be able to say ‘no, I don’t want any of the celebration, I rather help out my community.’

Well, one teen in Merida, Mexico did just that this week when she told her family ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to her big quince and instead used the money that had been raised for her special day to help out her neighbors who have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Her party was canceled thanks to Coronavirus, so she decided to help out those less fortunate.

In many countries across Latin America, the quinceañera is a huge milestone for teenagers. Beautiful dresses, visits from the entire family, big parties, and the best gifts are the norm at most quinces. But for 15-year-old Jiromy Xool Pech, instead of spending money on a lavish birthday celebration, she opted to use her party funds to help feed the needy.

Jiromy and her family had long planned her quinceañera – she had been looking forward to it for years. But with the pandemic hitting her community in Mérida particularly hard, the teen decided to put the party aside and use everything that had been invested in the ceremony to help her neighbors who have been impacted by the pandemic.

“Instead of partying, I prefer to give food to people, to help them with that,” Jiromy told El Universal. Jiromy not only asked to donate the money for her quince to the community, but she was also out there helping distribute the food to her neighbors.

Jiromy and her family weren’t alone in helping out the community either. Much of the food that was given out was prepared from by neighbors and local businesses that came to join Jiromy’s cause once word began to spread.

Unfortunately, many quinceañeras have been canceled or postponed thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Diego Sanchez / Getty Images

One of Mexico City’s most famous markets for buying quince dresses – el Mercado Lagunilla – has been closed for three months. This ins’t just hating a major impact on dressmakers and salespeople, but it also means that young teens aren’t able to buy the dresses to celebrate their big day.

But not all is completely lost: there are those who have begun to return, like Ximena González, who came with her family to try on dresses. Her quince was scheduled for May 16, but the pandemic changed everything, and now they expect it to take place in November.

“I was scared and upset but I had to accept it. Some friends can no longer go because they are moving,” she told El Universal. She added, “I hope that when it is my party the infections have gone down and that everything is done as if nothing had happened.”

Mexico has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, including Jiromy’s hometown of Merida.

Jiromy’s selfless act to help her community comes as Mexico continues to see record breaking numbers of cases. Tens of thousands are dying and even more are losing their jobs and being forced back into poverty.

As of August 6, Mexico has more than 456,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 49,698 people have died from the virus. In Jiromy’s state of Yucatan, there have been more than 10,000 cases of the virus and it’s had a huge impact on tourism, which is a major economic force in the state. Therefore, it makes sense that the 15-year-old thought it was important to use the money raised for her party to help those who are suffering financially.

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Neutrogena Ambassador, Jenna Ortega, Spills Her Crucial Hoop Señora Hack And Why She’s Elated To Be A Madrina

Fierce

Neutrogena Ambassador, Jenna Ortega, Spills Her Crucial Hoop Señora Hack And Why She’s Elated To Be A Madrina

Jenna Ortega is the freshest face to join the Neutrogena familia as a brand ambassador!

The 17-year-old You actress revealed the big news to her followers on Instagram on Tuesday morning. 

“I love that I get to represent my generation who are actively using their voices to make a difference and hope to inspire others as we embrace what makes us unique and special. I’m elated! #NTGSpokesperson,” wrote the rising star who is joining the icons like Kerry Washington and Jennifer Garner in representing the brand. 

During a video interview with FIERCE, Ortega shares what has her ecstatic about this new role, how Neutrogena remains a constant in her beauty bag, and her favorite señora hack that is the perfect pick-me-up. 

When reflecting on her new partnership with the skincare brand as their new ambassador, Ortega can hardly believe the news. “It’s great! It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time, so I couldn’t be more thrilled,” she tells FIERCE.

But Ortega’s role as a Neutrogena brand ambassador comes with new details in her job description. This year, she and the brand are teaming up to introduce the My Quinceañera Journey sweepstakes where they’ll virtually surprise a lucky teen with a glam team for their big day. 

“I turned 15 when I was on set, so I didn’t have the opportunity to get into all the prep or set a date,” recalls Ortega of her time filming Disney’s Stuck In The Middle. “Later in the show, my character turned 15 and she had her own quinceañera, so I kind of had to live vicariously through her,” she recalls. 

However, if she had the opportunity to celebrate her quinceañera, Ortega has a clear vision of what her look would be. 

“I would definitely have the big tulle skirt. I might do maybe like a red dress. And I like when my hair is down personally so I would probably have two dutch braids and hair curled,” she continues. “For makeup, just something that would tie in with the red dress I guess. So maybe like some red eyeshadow. My favorite color is red if you couldn’t tell,” she adds laughing.  

Recognizing that the limitations linked to the COVID-19 pandemic might restrict other teens from celebrating their quinceañera this 2020, the Mexican-Puerto Rican-American actress will act as a madrina to a few lucky teens turning 15 this year. 

“For all the kids who are experiencing 2020, who are turning 15 this year and also can’t have a quinceañera, I want to be able to be there for them and kind of help them out through this time and still make their day somewhat special and Neutrogena wants to do the same,” Ortega shares.

With the My Quinceañera Journey sweepstakes, teens have the opportunity to win an entire glam squad, a virtual meet and greet with Ortega, a virtual concert, skincare advice from a dermatologist and more. Basically, all the madrinas a quinceañera could ever hope for. 

Ortega adds that she and Neutrogena want to ensure they do everything “to make their day extra special.”

As everyone is adjusting to a new lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ortega tells FIERCE that she has taken time during quarantine to focus on a more consistent skincare regimen, practice more self-care through yoga and “drink a lot more water.” 

“I’ve had more time with myself so I’ve kind of developed a lot more of an actual routine whereas before it was kind of like I try to get this done but I don’t really have time,” Ortega adds. “But now I go in with my [Neutrogena] Oil-free Acne Wash or I use the Makeup Remover wipes then I use the Pink Grapefruit Cleansing Wipes, then I go in with the Hydro-boost Moisturizer for my skin and I’m comfortable with that.” 

The actress, who also had a role in Jane The Virgin, reveals that Neutrogena is an Ortega household staple passed down from her older sisters and to now be the face of the brand is “a crazy feeling.”

Neutrogena

“It’s something that I grew up watching my older sisters use and it’s something that I adapted into my own skincare routine. It’s something that I was introduced to and they’re the first products that I started using and the products that I still use to this day. So they’ve kind of been the number one skincare brand for me all my life.”

As a teen coming into her own and defining a self-care routine that works best for her, Ortega has uncovered a señora hack that many are sure to adopt if they haven’t already. 

“I have emergency hoops!” she reveals. 

“I always have multiple pairs of hoops in my bag no matter where I’m going, no matter how big or small the bag is, I will have at least three different pairs. I have a small set, (I’m wearing a small set now) and then I’ll have a large set, or a silver set, or I’ll have a gold set. Sometimes I’ll have bamboos. It doesn’t matter,” she adds. “I just need to know that they’re there because sometimes you know, you’re in such a rush to leave the house, you don’t know but hoops change everything.”

To enter Neutrogena’s My Quinceañera Journey sweepstakes click neutrogena.com/quinceanera. Entries are being accepted through August 4th.

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