ORANGE, Calif. — There’s a constant stream of people coming to show Rafael Farias support as he lives another day without his son.
"For me, I feel blessed to have my son Matthew," said Farias. "Hopefully he’s resting in peace and protecting me from heaven."
What You Need To Know
- Rafael Farias is demanding justice for the death of his only child, 9-year-old Matthew Farias
- Matthew was a third grader at Hoover Elementary School in Santa Ana
- Four people lost their lives during the shooting
- Matthew’s mother, Blanca Tamayo, remains in critical condition
Farias' only child, Matthew, was the youngest victim in a mass shooting that occurred in a business office complex in Orange on Wednesday. A total of four people were reportedly gunned down by a 44-year-old man from Fullerton.
Orange Police investigators believe the shooter and the victims knew each other through personal and business relationships.
Matthew, a boy who loved his family and to play his Xbox, was 9 years old.
“He was my battery, my engine,” said Farias.
Police said Matthew was found in his mom’s arms. Blanca Esmeralda Tamayo survived the shooting but remains in critical condition. Farias explained that he doesn’t want to speculate the motive that led to this nightmare but said he knows his son.
"I think that was my son’s mission," said Farias. "Maybe he felt like he’s going to die, but let me see if I could at least have a chance to save his mom. I think he took the bullets. I know he did it with his heart."
Tamayo lost a second child that evening, 28-year-old Genevieve Raygoza, who leaves behind two children and a husband. Raygoza's father, 50-year-old Luis Tovar, Sr., also lost his life, along with one of his employees, 58-year-old Letitia Solis Guzman.
Farias noted that his own dad lost his life tragically when Farias was just three years old, so he grew up without a father.
"I wanted to give all the love I couldn’t give to my dad," said Farias. "I’m giving it to you and I know you give it back to me."
Farias added that his family and friends are stopping by to share their condolences and stories about how Matthew impacted their lives in his short 9 years on earth. Farias said the stories reaffirm his belief that he’s been touched by an angel.
The Farias family is raising money to pay for funeral expenses for the sudden and tragic loss of Matthew. Please click here to make a donation.
The following GoFundMe pages were also created to help the other victims’ families: