Gathered on the corner off 24th and P Street in South Omaha Friday night, the family of a beloved son and friend to the neighborhood grew a little bigger.
Prayers for strength amidst what they call a tragic and sudden death of 20-year-old Roberto Gonzalez. Roommate and close friend Manuel Mata was wearing a homemade “Bulls” t-shirt as a symbol of a common thread among friends. "To be around him I could just say I would give everything to get him back,” Mata said.
Pastors gathered with the immediate family in the center of the prayer circle, young people also urged to huddle, all as a sign to show strength in unity. "Because we are against the violence, we don't want more violence in Omaha. It is our mission to keep praying for the community and to bring peace to the city,” Pastor Trinidad Sotelo said.
The details of what led up to the shooting are mostly a mystery as the investigation continued into the weekend. What we do know is that Thursday morning in the area, employees at Nebraska Tire and Auto heard three gun shots. "Pretty evident that he probably wasn't going to make it, because we had been doing CPR for probably a minute to a minute and a half before the fire department and rescue squad got there,” Tony Wilson said.
Doing what they could to help Gonzalez, it would be too late; Gonzalez would die at the hospital. And so Friday night, as the sun set on another day, candles lit up the night a reminder of a life gone now, as well.
Remember witnesses told police they saw a copper or brown colored SUV speed away from the scene after the shooting. Officers have not released any suspect information. The case is eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward; please call 402-444-STOP.