The gunman, a 44-year-old trucking company owner, locked the gates of the building before shooting.
A mom who took her son to her workplace in California on March 31 could have never imagined what was going to happen next. Her son became a hero that day but he also sadly passed away.
He died in her arms when a mass shooter opened fire at an office complex in Orange, Southern California.
Matthew Farias, 9, was the youngest person who died in the shooting at Unified Homes in Orange. The Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said the child "died in his mother's arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre," reported ABC News. The child's father Rafael "Ralphie" Farias divulged more details. "My angel, he saved his mom from dying," he told USA Today. "He took the bullets for her."
The other victims identified by the Orange Police Department were Luis Tovar, 50; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Jenevieve Raygoza, 28. Luis owned Unified Homes, a mobile-homes brokerage. Matthew's mother, Blanca Tamayo, was an employee of the business. She was wounded during the attack but somehow survived. Blanca and Luis were the parents of Jenevieve, who leaves behind two young children and a husband. Blanca is the only one who survived the shooting, as per ABC 7. Leticia leaves behind four children.
"It's a horrible nightmare, you know, and I keep thinking I'll wake up," said Paul Tovar, the brother of Luis.
Farias said that she was cradling her boy when the two of them were shot at, as per USA Today. "I'm unable to see her right now," he told ABC7. "I know she's very critical." The 9-year-old boy was a third-grader at Hoover Elementary in Santa Ana, his father said. He turned 9 on February 21.
The suspect, a 44-year-old trucking company owner named Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, was caught by the police. He was captured following an intense gun battle. He is critical and faces four counts of murder as well as three of attempted murder, according to People.
The boy's family started a GoFundMe page to raise funeral funds. "This is a total shock for our family," they said on the page. His father is still trying to come to terms with losing his son.
"I'm so shocked. I've never met this person, animal," Farias said, according to USA Today. "Innocent people did not deserve to die. I'm here with my pain … He was my only son, my life," he added.
He only has fond memories of his child, who was often called "my favorite" by teachers at Hoover Elementary School. Matthew once told his dad that he wanted to play soccer as he was "too good for basketball." He also greeted his father every morning with a hug. Farias added that his son was very good at sports and academics. He has been expressing his grief by talking about his son on social media.
The police are also trying to look for the motive of the attack at the office complex. Aminadab reportedly locked the gates outside the office building to stop victims from escaping. The police believe that he was connected to the business and didn't target them at random.
The investigation is still ongoing.
Cover image source: GoFundme