In the aftermath of one of the most recent shootings, we are learning more about one of the victims. Alongside a six-year-old boy and a 25-year-old man, the third victim was a 13-year-old girl. That girl, Keyla Salazar, died because she was trying to ensure the safety of another family member.
According to Keyla Salazar's aunt, Katiuska Pimentel Vargas, she was eating ice cream when the gunshots went off and chaos ensued. But, as Vargas explained to the Associated Press, the girl slowed her pace to stay with a family member walking with a cane. When the gunman, who had purchased the firearm in Vegas, avoiding California gun policies opened fire, she was struck by a bullet that killed her. But it may have saved someone else.
"She was just, like, a really caring, friendly kid who really liked to help people," she told Buzzfeed News.
Keyla was one of the three victims killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. She was 13, and she would have turned 14 on August 4th. She was getting ready to start 9th grade. Keyla also loved to draw, and wanted to become an animator when she got older. The oldest of three girls, she had spent her entire life living in the Bay Area.
"We just want Keyla to be remembered as someone that is beautiful," Vargas said. "She really cared a lot about other people. She loved animals. She had big dreams and aspirations, and her life was cut short."
Vargas also made a Facebook post about the ordeal and what the family is going through in the wake of the tragedy. "I have no words to describe this pain I’m feeling," she wrote. Obviously, the family will be in mourning for a long time, given the shock of what actually happened to the young girl. Because this was so unexpected, Vargas mentioned that they're still trying to process the needless tragedy.
"We are all devastated and broken and need time to heal and process."
Like many families affected by gun violence, Keyla Salazar's family doesn't understand how someone could commit such an act of violence.
"We need, like, some type of, like, change ... so we ensure that this doesn't happen to another kid, that there's not another Keyla, that there's not another family that has to go through this," Vargas said to Buzzfeed.
Keyla Salazar's family, as well as the families of the other two victims, have set up a GoFundMe for expenses.