Orange shooting victims: A prom king. A loving daughter. A young boy. A cheerful colleague.
The victims of the Orange mass shooting were connected through a mobile home business where the violence occurred.
One was a former prom king who went on to start the business. Another was his daughter. A third was a longtime employee. The fourth was a 9-year-old boy whose mother worked at the office and was critically wounded by the gunman Wednesday.
Here are their stories:
Unified Homes, a business in Orange that was built from the ground up, became the setting for tragedy.
He launched Unified Homes in 2006 with the goal of helping people buy, sell and remodel their manufactured homes and brought his family in to help run it.
An avid outdoorsman, the 50-year-old frequently loaded them up in his fifth-wheel for camping trips to Arizona. He sat them on the back of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to ride through the hills above Fullerton. They spent every Fourth of July, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas gathered at his home in northeast Anaheim.
Tovar was an Orange County native. He was so well-liked at Anaheim High School that students crowned him prom king his senior year. He later earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration and finance from Cal State Fullerton and had talked about pursuing a juris doctorate, according to his family.
As a father, Tovar had a strict set of rules for his five children. He expected them to eat well, get good grades and work hard. He was much softer with his six grandchildren.
“My dad was everything for us,” his daughter Vania Tovar said. “He was the kindest person. Whenever anyone needed something, even if he hadn’t seen them in years, he was willing to give them the shirt off his back. Our whole family is just so confused. They were so innocent in all of this.”
She was Luis Tovar’s daughter.
Vania Tovar described her as being “sunshine on a cloudy day.”
Father and daughter shared a love for the outdoors and a passion for their business. Genevieve Raygoza worked for him as a transaction manager at Unified Homes for a decade. Her husband, Armando Raygoza, works on the construction side of the business.
But the couple’s story began long before they became colleagues. Friendship blossomed into love in a calculus classroom at Fullerton College. Genevieve captured Armando’s attention the moment she stepped into the classroom.
“She was beautiful. I saw her and immediately knew I had to sit as close as I could to her,” he said. “She had it all — beauty and brains — and a huge heart.”
When the instructor suggested classmates exchange information to work collaboratively on assignments, she surprised him by asking for his phone number before he could ask for hers. After two years of dating, they had their first child — a son they named Nathaniel. They married a few years later and then welcomed their second son, Andres.
“We were supposed to grow old together,” Armando said. “Luis would always tell us to enjoy life because we don’t know how long we have together, but we didn’t think it would be this short.”
The 9-year-old was Genevieve’s half-brother. He was the son of Blanca Tamayo, who worked at the business and was critically wounded by the gunman. Tamayo is also Genevieve’s mother.
The day of the shooting just happened to be one of the days that Matthew accompanied his mom to work at Unified Homes instead of going to daycare, his aunt Rosie Farias said Friday.
Matthew’s death is like the loss of one of her own children, Rosie Farias said. She lives just two miles from Ralph Farias, her younger brother and Matthew’s father, in Santa Ana. Before the pandemic, their kids spent almost every other weekend together. Matthew cherished every moment he spent with his family, she said.
“He sometimes didn’t want to leave, whether he was at my house, my husband, my sister, my brother. It didn’t matter, he just wanted to stay there longer. He just loved the family,” she said.
While the boy’s death has rocked their family, Rosie Farias says she’s mostly concerned about Ralph. Matthew was his only child. She said he seems sad and lost — his eyes teary — but she doesn’t think the reality has fully hit him. She suspects that will change once he goes to the coroner’s office.
“I feel like that’s when it’s gonna all come down,” she said. “He’s going to be coming home — alone.”
Leticia Solis Guzman
She was a longtime sales executive at Unified Homes. In her profile picture on Facebook, Solis is standing next to Luis Tovar’s daughters in front of a giant Christmas tree in what appears to be the family’s living room. The top of Solis’ Facebook page reads in Spanish: “I’m a Leo, a warrior, cool, cheerful, I love dancing, I love my family and happiness.”
The Solis family could not be reached for comment. Yolanda Torres, an acquaintance of Solis, said she hadn’t learned what happened to her until Friday.
“Honestly, this was difficult to take in,” she said. “She was an excellent person that I had the luck of knowing. This was honestly difficult news, we’re living in such difficult times.”
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.