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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Funeral, fundraisers scheduled for Tara Romero

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Memorial services for Tara Romero, the 14-year-old who died in a drive-by shooting in Morgan Hill last week, are set for Sunday and Monday, and her friends and family are trying to raise money for related expenses. A vigil Sunday is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, 17720 Monterey Road. A Mass and funeral service for Romero will take place at 10 a.m. at St. Catherine Church, 17400 Peak Ave. Following the mass, a reception and "celebration of her life" will take place at the Gilroy National Guard Armory, 8490 Wren Ave., according to messages posted to the Facebook page "RIP Tara Romero." Romero was a freshman at Sobrato High School. She was killed Friday when a car full of suspected street gang members opened fire on Romero and a group of teens at Del Monte and Cosmo avenues, just outside the Village Avante apartment complex. Three other teens standing on the sidewalk with Romero were also shot, police said. Those victims are a 14-year-old girl from San Jose with a bullet wound to her right leg, a 15-year-old boy from Morgan Hill who was shot in the leg, and a 14-year-old San Jose girl who was shot in the stomach, Morgan Hill police Capt. Jerry Neumayer said. As of Monday, the other 14-year-old female victim, whose name has not been released, remained in the hospital in critical condition, Neumayer said. Five suspected Sureno street gang members were arrested for the crime shortly after the shooting, police said. They are Esmeling Bahena, 18 of Morgan Hill; Ricardo Diaz, 19 of Morgan Hill; Fernando Mateo, 20 of Gilroy; Primitovo Hernandez, 23 of San Jose; and a 17-year-old male from Morgan Hill. All were arrested on suspicion of homicide and attempted homicide, police said. Police do not think the victims were affiliated with a gang or involved in any gang activity. The shooters might have mistakenly identified them as members of a rival gang, Neumayer said. A spaghetti dinner fundraiser will take place 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight at United Methodist Church, 17175 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill. The cost is $10 per plate of spaghetti and French bread, and a soda. On Saturday, a car wash fundraiser is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Napa Auto Parts, 17650 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill. The cost is $5 per car. All proceeds from the spaghetti and car wash fundraisers will go to Romero's family.

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