MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The parents of two students, who were fatally shot in two separate incidents, received posthumous diplomas for their teen sons who would have been in cap and gown on Tuesday.
The parents of Pedro Uriarte and Bryan Herrera were given the diplomas at Miami Jackson Senior High School’s graduation at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. The families sat together, wiping away tears as they waited to receive their sons’ diplomas.
“We’re sad because he’s not here in the physical form but none the less, we know he’s here,” said Pedro’s brother Jesus Uriarte.
“This is an honor for me. My son earned it,” said Uriarte’s mother Marisol Sanchez.
“I couldn’t just contain myself. It was sad but I was glad that somebody didn’t forget Bryan,” said Herrera’s father William Herrera.
Jackson’s principal Carlos Rios Jr., alongside Miami Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, honored the teens’ parents with the diploma.
“Their lives got cut short by murderous bullets in our community,” said Carvalho.
Uriarte, 18, was fatally shot while walking by an elementary school near Wynwood on November 30, 2014 by an unknown assailant. It was first thought he was killed for his headphones, but his father says he may have been robbed for cash. Uriarte, who was an A-B student at Jackson, wanted to go to college and become an accountant, his parents said.
Sixteen-year-old Herrera, just before 11 AM on December 22, 2012, was riding his bicycle to a friend’s house to do homework when he was struck by one bullet and killed. The shooting happened at NW 11th Avenue and 39th Street. Herrara’s parents say he was a straight-A student at Jackson, had no enemies and no criminal history.