Viewing Sunday For Girl Shot, Killed On Homestead School Bus
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MIAMI (CBS4) – A viewing will be held Sunday for the 13-year-old girl killed in an accidental private school bus shooting in Homestead last week.
The viewing comes just one day after an emotional candlelight vigil was held in honor of Lourdes Guzman DeJesus.
“You guys are amazing,” Ady DeJesus told the crowd gathered at a roadside memorial for her daughter.
“You guys were everything to her,” DeJesus said through sobs before being helped away from the memorial site by loved ones.
The teen, affectionately known to many as Jina, was accidentally shot and killed on a private school bus in Homestead Tuesday morning.
Noelia Luna performed an acoustic version of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” at the vigil. She said the lyrics, “shine bright like a diamond,” were a perfect match for her friend.
“She was a precious jewel in our life for everyone,” Luna said. “We know she’s in a better place.”
Lourdes’ mother said her daughter loved school and wanted to be a lawyer. Her friends remember her love of life.
“She always had a smile on her face,” Sonya Rodriguez said. “She was happy. She never was in a bad mood.”
Rodriguez was on that bus bound for Palm Glades Prep Academy and two other schools when the fatal shot was fired.
“It was just shocking. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.
Miami-Dade Police investigators said Jordyn Alexander Howe, 15, took the gun from his house and was showing it off. They said it discharged as he was trying to slip it in to his backpack.
Howe is charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed weapon.
Lourdes’ friends admit forgiveness hasn’t come easy.
“I just felt like a little bit of hate, but it just left because I know he didn’t do it on purpose,” Ericka Baltodano said. She brought handwritten lyrics to the memorial site along with a card.
The DeJesus family needs help paying for Lourdes’ funeral. If you can donate, visit Neighbors4Neighbors.org or call (305) 597-4404.