In a mass shooting that claimed the lives of four innocent victims, a 9-year-old boy was found dead in the arms of his wounded mother at the scene of the crime. The boy’s mother is an employee working at the office complex targeted by the shooter, and she is expected to survive the shooting but has to bear the immense loss of losing her beloved young boy.
“My angel, he saved his mom from dying. He took the bullets for her,” said Rafael “Ralphie” Farias, the boy’s heartbroken father.
Before Matthew was killed in the shooting, he and the other victims were locked up inside the office building by the suspected shooter, a 44-year-old trucking company owner. To make sure nobody could escape, and to prevent officers from entering, the man chained the building from the inside before carrying out the horrifying attack.
“I believe the shooter was familiar with the building,” the property’s owner, Alec Torres, said. “He closed the front gate to the entrance, which would not allow anybody to leave.”
The police also believe there might have been some connection between the shooter and the victims, as Orange Police Lt. Jennifer Amat said, “This was not a random act of violence. We believe everyone knew each other, whether through a business or personal relationship.”
However, as 9-year-old Matthew’s family is left mourning the child’s devastating death, his father revealed that he has never met the shooter and believes there was absolutely nothing that justified innocent people dying this way.
“I’m so shocked. I’ve never met this person, animal. Innocent people did not deserve to die. I’m here with my pain… He was my only son, my life,” Rafael said.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, said, “It appears that a little boy died in his mother’s arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre.” Along with Matthew, the three others who lost their lives in the mass shooting were Luis Tovar, 50, his daughter, Genevieve Raygoza, 28, and Leticia Solis Guzman, 58.
Referred to as “my favorite” by his elementary school teachers, Matthew will be remembered as the kind of child who would run up to his father for a hug every morning with a smile on his face.
“It’s heartbreaking that he is no longer here. It’s hard,” Rafael told the Orange County Register. In the mass shooting that was unleashed by the suspect, Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, the shooter was also left wounded and taken to the hospital.