Things That Matter

Twin Sister of Mass Shooting Victim Wishes They Had “Grown Old Together”

After a white man with an AK-47 failed to signal a left turn, he was pulled over by state troopers. For motives unknown, that triggered a shooting spree in West Texas, killing 7 people along a 20 mile stretch of highway between Midland and Odessa, Texas. The victims include a 15-year-old teen who just celebrated her quince in May, a father of two, and a U.S. Postal Service worker, Mary Granados, who was on the phone with her twin sister when she was carjacked and killed.

Mary’s sister, Rosie, has spoken out, recounting the gruesome final moments of Mary’s life, as heard on the other end of the phone with her.

The gunman fired at state troopers just moments before he murdered Mary and hijacked her mail truck.

CNN

“I was talking to her on the phone and she mentions something about hearing gunshots,” Rosie recalls. “She didn’t know where it was coming from, if it was near her or anything. She was just doing her job,” Rosie said.
“I heard her screaming, and I wasn’t sure what she was going through,” Rosie says through tears. “I was just hearing her cry and scream for help. I didn’t know what was happening to her.”

“I thought it was just a dog attacking her,” Rosie recalls.

@KristenClarkeJD / Twitter

“My first response was to get in the car and go where she was to go help her.” Mary and Rosie were roommates. They constantly kept in touch with each other, and Rosie knew Mary’s route like the back of her hand. By the time Rosie found her sister, the police were on the scene. “She was laying on the floor when I got there. She was already gone,” Rosie said. “I just wanted to run to her and hug her … kiss her.”

Security footage shows Mary Granados delivering mail with a smile just hours before her murder.

Mckayla Salcido / CNN

Mary Granados was 29 years old, and just three minutes younger than her Rosie. They had planned to celebrate their 30th birthday together. Friends say that Mary enjoyed traveling with her boyfriend, loving her cats, and spending time with family.

“We came to the world together, and, unfortunately, she left before I did,” Rosie told reporters.

CNN

“I still can’t believe it’s real,” Rosie told CNN. “She was so special. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.” Since Mary’s death, Rosie has just been “trying to stay strong for the family” and wrap her head around the sudden loss. “She meant the whole world to me because we came to the world together and unfortunately she left before I did. I wish she would have waited for me. We would have grown old together, but she left before.”

The sisters moved to Texas from Juarez, México when they were 14 years old.

@KristenClarkeJD / Twitter

Rosie said that Mary wasn’t feeling well that day, but was so dedicated to her job that she went to work anyway. She was just finishing up her shift. Rosie said that Mary’s cats have been yowling for her in the days that have passed without her.

The more people have heard Rosie and Mary’s story, the more they’re calling for gun reform.

@emmapatriciaa / Twitter

“My biggest fear…” tweets Emma. “Guns should not be a right, they shouldn’t even be a privilege unless absolutely needed for your job.” Hours after Mary was killed, along with six other victims, new gun laws went into effect in Texas, to loosen restrictions. Guns are now legally allowed on school property, in times of declared disasters, and in places of worship.

You can donate to her GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

@thetweetofjohn / Twitter

One of Mary’s coworkers, Leslie Aide, set up a GoFundMe to help support the family. “I had the privilege to work with Mary in the past,” she writes. “She was beautiful inside and out, with a great heart and always ready to be a friend, always had a smile on her face!”

Over $40,000 have been raised to support the Granados family.

Leslie Aide / GoFundMe

The campaign has officially named Rosie the beneficiary. Rosie said that the two of them “were like one. And now a part of me is missing,” she said. “And I wish I could have it back, but I just can’t.”

Rest in Power, Mary.

Kansas City Police Are Looking For Two Men Suspected Of Shooting Patrons Of A Tequila Bar

Things That Matter

Kansas City Police Are Looking For Two Men Suspected Of Shooting Patrons Of A Tequila Bar

Sherae Honeycutt / Facebook

It was a normal Saturday night for Tequila Kansas City Bar (TKC) bartender, Jose Valdez. He was serving new customers and old when a familiar, unwelcome face walked in at 11 p.m. asking for a drink. Valdez refused to serve the man, recalling the issues he’s caused the bar in the past. The man threw a glass at him and he was promptly escorted out. At 1:30 a.m., the same man walked back into the bar with a friend and handguns. Smoke filled the tiny room as they shot people at random.

Four Latino men were killed and five other victims were wounded. TKC is a private, members-only bar that has always been regarded as a “safe space” for the Latino community. Three of the slain were second-generation TKC patrons. Their parents were also members.

TKC usually staffs a security guard, but he didn’t show up that night.

Credit: @OfficialJoelF / Twitter

The owner of Tequila KC Bar told KMBC reporter Matt Evans that the bar scheduled a security guard that night, but “he never showed up.” Kansas City, Kansas Police confirmed that they had arrived on the scene earlier in the night. The suspect had picked a fight with someone as he was being escorted out and the two brawled outside. By the time the police arrived, the fight was over and they left.

Shock and adrenaline allowed the wounded to escape from the bar before the pain set in.

Credit: @ellemoxley / Twitter

Two hours later, the suspect arrived with an accomplice and handguns. Survivors recall hearing at least a dozen gunshots, and could barely see through the gun smoke.

“They went off so quick I didn’t think it was gunshots,” customer Michael Barajas told the Kansas City Star.

The two gunmen are still at large.

Credit: Kansas City Police Department

Police have released security camera images of the suspects, in hopes that anyone who recognizes them will come forward. Police have yet to name the suspects, and police spokesman Officer Thomas Tomasic told The Kansas City Star that he doesn’t believe the shooting was racially motivated. “It’s a pretty small bar,” Tomasic told the paper. “You have two guys come in, start shooting, people are just running. People are just running wherever they can.”

Victim Alfredo Calderon had a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter to raise.

Credit: Alfredo Calderon / Facebook

While police haven’t released the names of any of the victims, some family members are coming forward to remember their deceased. Juan Ramirez told reporters that his 29-year-old nephew, Alfredo Calderon, died in the shooting. “We’re just in shock and disbelief,” Ramirez told The Kansas City Star, adding that his nephew had “nothing to do with it.”

This wasn’t bartender Valdez’s first shooting either. “I don’t know what to make of it,” he told The Kansas City Star, through tears. “A sad day for everybody who lost their lives and their families. How can you go into a place full of people and just start shooting?” He said he hugged his own niños Sunday morning, saying “pray to God I’m here.”

When a witness’s fiancé was shot, she tried to stop the bleeding and “held him till he took his last breath.”

Shay Celedon was at TKC with her best friend and her fiancé, both of whom have yet to be identified. Celedon said the two were waiting until after her niece’s quinceañera to get down to wedding planning hoping to tie the knot in October 2020. The three were enjoying their night until they witnessed the violent fight outside the bar. Celedon got a sinking feeling and decided to go home for fear that “something bad would happen.”

“None of it really seems real right now,” she told CNN. “We were sitting here yesterday evening having drinks with my best friend’s fiancé. I go home, go to bed, get woken up two hours later that he’s deceased, and she held him till he took his last breath, and tried to bring him back and keep pressure on his gunshot wound. And it was just one fatal shot that took him from us.”

Tequila Kansas City Bar “was a home away from home, you could say.”

Credit: Sherae Honeycutt / Facebook

Toni Maciel, 36, knew seven of the nine victims personally. While she returned to TKC the following day to be with her “TKC family” and community, she doesn’t feel safe anymore. Maciel knows the wife of the alleged shooter. During a karaoke night just two days prior, she witnessed him physically abuse his wife. Maciel intervened and asked him to leave. “This was a home away from home, you could say,” she told The Kansas City Star. “But after this, I don’t know what would happen with our community.”

Tequila Kansas City Bar hosted a vigil for the victim Sunday night at 7 p.m.

As we report on this story, the community is gathering around TKC to pay vigil to the deceased. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly released a statement saying she continues “to be frustrated that these mass shootings and killings occur with regular frequency. Our nation has an obligation to address this ongoing public health crisis.”

READ: Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings

A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

Entertainment

A New Documentary Exposes The Massacre In Porvenir, Texas That Left 15 Mexican-Americans Dead

porvenirmovie / Instagram

Porvenir is a Spanish word. If you break it down, por venir literally means to come, and the translation is the future. It’s also the name of what used to be a tiny town in Texas located right next to the Rio Grande on the border. The village of Porvenir in Texas, which is a town no more, had roots that reflect the brutal and deadly colonization that this country was built on. 

“Porvenir, Texas” is a new documentary on PBS that brings to light the massacre that happened on the border more than 100 years ago. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

As the tense immigration crisis continues in this country today, the documentary “Porvenir, Texas” shows how this struggle has been part of our history since the inception of the United States of America. 

The story of the massacre cannot be told before discussing the war between the U.S. and Mexico. While the U.S. continued to expand in the southwest through its war with Mexico, the battle to live and remain in the country affected the most vulnerable people who weren’t part of the war at all. They were Mexicans who lived in Texas and along the border before it was ever part of the United States. However, after Mexico lost Texas to the United States, those living in Texas, became Americans overnight. That didn’t please the incoming residents — white people looking to make the country their home. 

The documentary exposes the brutal killing of 15 Mexican men — some who were American as well — which the U.S. tried to hide from history. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

With the expansion of the U.S. throughout its new state of Texas, white ranchers staked their claim in areas that were owned by Mexican-Americans. Like gentrification today, Texas was also gentrified during the Wild West, which meant Mexicans, who were now Americans, were displaced because of higher taxes. 

With the revolution still going on in the Mexican border and new white ranchers taking over land, racial tensions were high. White people were told that all Mexicans were “bandits” and Mexican-Americans were in fear for their lives thinking they could be killed based on the color of their skin.

White people were killing Mexican-Americans outright with no consequences, and the film shows graphic images of that. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

Here’s a summary of that fateful violent night as reported by NBC News: “In the early morning hours of Jan. 28, 1918, a group of ranchers, Texas Rangers, and U.S. Army cavalry soldiers entered the village and rousted the residents from their beds. They led away 15 unarmed men and boys of Mexican descent to a nearby bluff, where they shot and killed them. These victims ranged in age from 16 to 72, and some were American citizens. The town’s women and children fled across the border to Mexico for safety. The next day, the perpetrators returned and burned the village to the ground. Porvenir ceased to exist.”

We have no idea how many other Mexican-Americans were killed with such brutality during this period because there’s no record of it. The only reason the story of Porvenir can be told today is because of two men that documented what happened. 

Credit: porvenirmovie / Instagram

Harry Warren was a white teacher that worked with some of the community in Porvenir and wrote about what happened that night. He also was a witness to the bodies.  José Tomás (“J.T.”) Canales, who was a state legislator at the time, launched an investigation against the Rangers, and his depositions and testimony have been preserved as well. 

“There were many cases like Porvenir, where the initial response from the state was to try to fabricate what really took place,” Monica Muñoz Martinez, an assistant professor at Brown University and the founding member of the public history project Refusing To Forget, told NBC News. “It was not unusual for the state to try to justify such acts, by criminalizing the victims. Residents of Porvenir were described at times as squatters or bandits. None of this is true.”

Christina Fernandez Shapter produced the film and spoke about the importance of making sure these stories are never forgotten. 

Credit: jefegreenheart / Instagram

“I am Mexican American myself, I am from Texas, my family has been here for generations,” she told NBC News. “And I know we all have stories in our families, sometimes of land being taken from us or other injustices.”

Here’s a clip of the film.

Click here to watch the entire documentary. 

READ: This Exhibition Told The Stories Of Mexicans And Mexican-Americans Who Were Illegally Deported In The ’20s And ’30s