Fundraiser held for family killed in triple murder-suicide
Communities from across the region packed the South Side Expo and Pavilion on Sunday to help raise money for a family that lost relatives in a triple murder-suicide earlier this month.
Sunday's event came less than two weeks after Ruben H. Gonzalez, 28, shot his uncle, Jose Guadalupe-Hurtado; his mother, Josephina Gonzalez; and grandmother, Felicitas Guillen-Hurtado; at a home in the 7500 block of Dream Valley Street before turning the gun on himself, police said.
Christina Gonzalez, Josefina Gonzalez's daughter, said the pain she feels in the aftermath of the shooting is immense.
"This feeling and this tragic loss, I don't wish it on my worst enemy," Christina Gonzalez said.
So when 10 local bands came together for a benefit concert for the family on Sunday, Christina Gonzalez felt some comfort.
"Just meeting new people has been great," she said. "That is what has been comforting these last two weeks, that has helped me not break down."
Friends, family and hundreds of volunteers helped put together the fundraiser. Christina Gonzalez said she's been so busy with arrangements she hasn't yet had a chance to mourn.
She remembered her mother, who was called "Josie," as someone who was led by her faith.
"She was involved with a lot of the churches just donating food to the homeless, and clothing," Christina Gonzalez said.
Her uncle Guadalupe-Hurtado, she recalls, always found a way to give back through his passion for teaching.
"He did a lot of backpack drives for his students and then entire school," she said.
And her grandmother, Guillen-Hurtado, whose hospitality left an indelible mark.
"You never stepped into her house without being fed," Christina Gonzalez recalled.
Christina Gonzalez said her brother, who is suspected of shooting their relatives, was always anti-social. She described him as a hermit, but said he'd never acted this violently toward family.
Christina Gonzalez said a half-hour before her relatives were found fatally shot, she received a call from her mother saying her brother was destroying the house.
"We don't know what triggered him or what he thought of when he committed this," she said. "I will never know."
She said she hopes that her tragic loss will help raise awareness about mental health.
"God works in mysterious ways because I have had about five families who have come up to me and have asked in which way my brother was mentally unstable," Christina Gonzalez said. "So if my story can be of that help, I will continue to share my story to help others."
All funds raised Sunday will go toward funeral arrangements. Christina Gonzalez said she will bury her grandmother and uncle in Mexico, as they wished.