Communities throughout the valley are fundraising to support the families of three teenagers shot and killed in Palm Springs, one of those fundraisers being a car wash in Cathedral City.
Of the close friends and family there, some parents were left feeling thankful it wasn’t their kids and some kids were left feeling thankful it wasn’t them.
Liliana Murillo, a mother-figure for Yulianna Garcia, one of the victims of the shooting, worked at a car wash for eight years but this car wash was different.
“It’s just painful,” she said. “They don’t know how hard it’s going to be to recover from it, you know, and these days that we’re going to do the viewings, the closer we’re getting to it, it’s harder.”
Yuliana Garcia is one of four victims, three of which were close friends. The other two are Juan Duarte Raya and Jacob Montgomery.
“We’re all sad, we’re all angry,” Daisy Arroyo, a friend of the teens said. “We just want justice for her, for them.”
“Me, as a mother driving out here to do this, it is sad,” Murillo said. “So much anger. How could people do this?”
Several people in the community donated time and money all weekend for the cause all while reflecting on the past.
“She [Liliana] was very happy,” Deviny, one of Liliana’s friend said. “She would always put a smile on people’s faces.”
Some of car wash volunteers saw the teens the day of the shooting. Saul Murillo, Liliana’s nephew, was supposed to be in the car.
“I had seen them twenty minutes before anything had happened in the alley on Wishing Wells, they wanted me to go with them but I told them I had to be at school the next morning,” Saul said.
That decision most likely saved his life. Saul dedicated his weekend to washing cars all while playing the songs they loved.
“This one’s for ‘Twinky’ and Juan,” Saul said with a smile on his face. Twinky is a nickname he had for Jacob.
“It’s becoming more of a reality,” Liliana said. “We’re just trying to be strong for all the kids and all the other young ones, make sure they go home and sleep and that they don’t act out of anger.”
A reaction she said the three teens would want.
“They were all so happy, they had a big smile all the time and would try to cheer up everybody else.”
All of the proceeds from the car wash will be split evenly among the families affected.
The suspect of the homicide plead not guilty. Some close friends of the victim said the suspect could be connected to gang activity, resulting in the murder of their friends.
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