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.

A Man In El Paso Has Been Charged With The Murder Of His Date After She Went Missing

Things That Matter

A Man In El Paso Has Been Charged With The Murder Of His Date After She Went Missing

El Paso Police Department

The family of a woman who had been declared missing since July has finally found tragic answers after El Paso police charged Ricardo Marquez, 28, with her murder. Erika Andrea Gaytan, 29, was reported missing by her family on July 16, who felt it was out-of-character for Gaytan to disappear and leave her 7-year-old son behind. Gaytan reportedly was last heard from after going to a concert at the El Paso County Coliseum on July 13 with Ricardo Marquez. Gaytan recorded the concert, featuring Los Rieleros del Norte, Polo Urias and La Maquinaria Norteña, from her social media last night, marking the last time anyone heard from her. Detectives say that the day after Gaytan’s disappearance, Marquez borrowed his brother’s car and his sister’s shovel. Gaytan’s blood was found in Marquez’s Jeep. In a statement released Wednesday, Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said that Gaytan’s “body has not been found, but based on forensic and other evidence gathered over the course of the investigation detectives have reason to believe that she is deceased and was the victim of a murder.”

Police believe Marquez used zip-ties to restrain Gaytan in his home, where he murdered her.

CREDIT: EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT / FACEBOOK

Marquez was brought in for questioning following Gaytan’s disappearance, where he told detectives that she came home with him, but used a ride-hailing app to leave after they got into a verbal argument. Detectives found no evidence that Gaytan used her ride-hailing apps, discrediting Marquez’s statement. According to a court affidavit, Marquez continued to give conflicting statements about his experience with Gaytan, and his whereabouts the following day, when speaking with law enforcement and family and friends alike. 

Marquez allegedly spent the next day covering up his crime.

CREDIT: @JALAKFOX_CBS / TWITTER

Investigators then looked into Marquez’s phone records, which showed that he had texted his brother and sister the next morning. He asked his brother if he could borrow his all-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler, and picked up a shovel from his sister. Surveillance video evidence creates a timeline for Marquez’s alleged cover-up. He borrowed a shovel from his sister around 11:25 a.m. the following morning, and then went to his brother’s house to pick up the Jeep. He spent about an hour with his brother before being spotted on the 13900 block of Montana in east El Paso, driving toward the Redlands desert area. An hour later, the Jeep was spotted again, driving back to his brother’s house around 1:39 p.m., according to the affidavit that was issued for his arrest. With a search warrant in hand, a Department of Public Safety DNA lab-tested Marquez’s brother’s Jeep trunk floor mat, which came back positive for traces of Gaytan’s blood. Police believe Marquez transported Gaytan’s body in the trunk of his brother’s car, and buried her in an unknown area in the desert.

Court documents cite that a search of Marquez’s home produced the shovel he borrowed from his sister, a pair of shoes filled with sand, and zip-ties “tied in a manner to be used as restraints.” Detectives have concluded that “Ricardo Marquez murdered the victim in his residence, used the Jeep to transport the body of the victim to an unknown location only accessible by off-road vehicles, and that he used the shovel to bury the body.”

The El Paso community is shocked to hear of Gaytan’s murder.

CREDIT: EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT / FACEBOOK

“Too many tragedies as of late,” commented Melissa Arredondo on the El Paso Police Department’s Facebook announcement of the arrest. “Dang… And the report says he buried her near Redlands. That place is so cursed. My friend’s dad just died there. It will never be the same,” commented another member of the community. Others remain hopeful in demanding that the police find Gaytan’s body before assuming her death. “Too many questions remain,” commented another concerned El Paso citizen.

Gaytan was facing a court hearing for criminal mischief when she disappeared, but her family couldn’t believe that she would leave her son behind without warning. Gaytan once appeared on El Paso’s Most Wanted List in 2017 before she was charged 66 charges of credit abuse in a criminal mischief case.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and detectives are relying on the public for more information. If you have information on the case or Ricardo Marquez, call (915) 212-4040 or Crime Stoppers of El Paso at (915) 566-8477.

READ: California Man Arrested With Drugs And Guns While Keeping A Person Hostage And Suspected Of Murder

Authorities Have Identified Gabriel Romero As The Person Who Killed Two People In The Pearl Harbor Shooting

Things That Matter

Authorities Have Identified Gabriel Romero As The Person Who Killed Two People In The Pearl Harbor Shooting

jm_photolens / Instagram

All mass shootings are travesties. Whether they occur in a public place or a school, they always instill fear, sadness, and numbness mainly because they happen so often. When a shooting occurs on a military camp, it is just as daunting and debilitating because servicemen and servicewomen are there to protect and serve. Yet we also know they too suffer from an array of mental health issues simply because of their profession. The shooting at Pearl Harbor is another example of the gun violence crisis gripping this nation.

Officials have identified the U.S. sailor who killed two people and himself as 22-year-old Gabriel Romero. 

On Dec. 4 at around 2:30 p.m., authorities say that Romero began shooting at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. He shot three Department of Defense workers at the Dry Dock 2 on the base, the New York Post reports. Two of the victims, both males, were declared dead later at the hospital. 

One witness said he saw the shooter and assumed he was a sailor “because he was in a sailor uniform.” He also reports, according to the New York Post, that he recognized the sound as gunfire and also witnessed the shooter shoot himself.  The third victim is currently recovering at a local hospital. 

While all the victims were working on the base, they are considered civilians, not military.

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

“These victims are not only dedicated [International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers] IFPTE union members, they are hard-working public servants who go to work each day to serve the taxpayers and our military forces. They are reflective of the thousands of workers at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere that go to work to earn a living and serve their nation,” the organization said, according to the Star Advertiser. “No worker should have to go to work without the expectation of safely returning to their family and loved ones.” One of the victims has been identified as 32-year-old Vincent Kapoi Jr., a local of Hawaii. The names of the other two victims have not been released. 

“We are saddened by this incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, said in a statement posted on Facebook. “The Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is a vital part of our Navy ohana, and we have generations of families who work there. Our security forces are working closely with agencies investigating this incident, and we are making counseling and other support available to those who need it after this tragedy.”

Officials have not reported a motive by the shooter. At the time of the shooting, Romero’s duty was to guard the USS Columbia, a Pearl Harbor-based submarine that was in the drydock for maintenance at the time.

According to the Navy Region Hawaii, Base security, Navy investigative services, and other agencies are investigating the incident. However, Hawaii News Now is reporting that Romero had been ordered to take anger management classes. The outlet says that Romero “was having disciplinary problems at work,” and was instructed to seek help for his anger issues. 

Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, told reporters that he wasn’t sure if Romero knew the people he shot. Shipyard Commander Capt. Greg Burton did send a message to families of the victims, saying, “Looking ahead, we will honor the life and legacy of those lost,” Burton said, according to Hawaii News Now

“Even now, as we mourn the loss of members of our ”ohana, please take the opportunity to reconnect with each other and to reinforce and strengthen the bonds with each other.”

This Saturday marked the 78th anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and elsewhere, including in San Diego.

Credit: @HeavySan / Twitter

“We still owe a great debt to the greatest generation,” Scott McGaugh, the marketing director for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, said to the San Diego Tribune. There are very few of them left. When we honor these kinds of days it reminds all of us that our nation can come together and unify for the greater good. That was certainly the case in World War II.”

On Dec.r 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii, killing  2,335 military servicemen and women, and 68 civilians.  It is unclear if the Saturday anniversary event at Pearl Harbor will pay respect to the people who died this week. 

READ:  At 104 Years Of Age, Ray Chavez Hits The Gym He Can Visit Pearl Harbor