The youngest victim of a mass shooting at a California food 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 6-year-old Stephen Romero remembered the boy 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 enlarged photos of the boy with a quick smile 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 Gilroy Garlic Festival. He also killed 13-year-old Keyla Salazar of San Jose and Trevor Irby, 25, of Romulus, New York. More than a dozen people were injured.
Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, who attended the funeral service, said the boy was later 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.
The boy 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.