Hundreds gather to honor woman killed in gang crossfire

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SAN DIEGO – Through song, prayer and memories, hundreds gathered in Escondido Tuesday night to honor a woman who was killed in gang crossfire last week.

Catherine Kennedy was fatally shot last Tuesday as she drove home from St. Timothy’s church in Escondido. As she traveled down Grand Avenue, she was struck by a stray bullet from the crossfire of two rival gang members firing at each other.

Kennedy is remembered as a devoted daughter, mother, wife and family member.

Her uncle, Al Calcido, told FOX 5 the family struggles to understand how and why her death happened.

“We just pray they find the people that did it and they’re tried and justice is served,” Calcido said.

Her husband Kevin said Cathy gave her life to service.

“I think she put that into action to an extent that very few other people do,” he said.

Her church leaders said they witnessed her dedication daily.

“She was passionate about her children. That was her ministry, for the most part, but you could just find her anywhere and everywhere around the church," Deacon Mitch Rennix said.

Rennix said it was the youth in the neighborhood of the church that took Cathy’s life.

“There is no doubt about that. Escondido has a gang problem, as does any city of this size,” he said.

Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter attended the vigil. He said his department has taken extensive action to address gang activity in the city.

“But to have this random act like this take place, it sets us back and it’s very disheartening,” Carter said.

“Sorry I do not forgive you, I cannot turn the other cheek,” her mother said.