The youngest victim of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, who loved comic books and listening to romantic ballads by his favorite artist, was laid to rest Monday.
About 300 friends and family of Stephen Romero remembered the 6-year-old as a happy and outgoing kid who loved to dress up as Batman and listen to The Weeknd.
A small, open white casket was placed at the front of a San Jose auditorium and flanked by large photos of the boy and wreaths of flowers, including one with a Batman logo. It was the last memorial service for the three people killed July 28 when a gunman opened fire at the popular food festival. He also killed 13-year-old Keyla Salazar of San Jose and Trevor Irby, 25, of Romulus, N.Y. More than a dozen people were injured.
Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, who attended the funeral service, said the boy was buried at a San Jose cemetery.
“Having attended Keyla’s funeral and a now a little boy’s funeral was one of the hardest experiences I have had as an elected official,” he said.
The boy’s mother, who was also shot at the festival, was at the funeral with a cast on her left arm, Alejo said.
Stephen was described by his grandmother as a kind, happy and playful kid who had just celebrated his birthday in June at Legoland in Southern California. A poster with a photo from that birthday celebration was signed by those at the funeral. “Stephen, I miss you. Every time I see you, you always give me a big hug. I’m going to miss you a lot. Love, Arlene,” a message read.
Stephen was called “El Romantico” by his uncle because of his good manners, his pressed, button-down shirts and his love of ballads by his favorite singer, The Weeknd.
“He wouldn’t leave the house unless he had cologne on,” Noe Romero told the San Francisco Chronicle.