‘He was just so loved’: Funeral honors 12-year-old struck by stray bullet

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SAN DIEGO — Family, friends and even strangers gathered inside Our Lady of Angels Church in Sherman Heights Tuesday morning to lay 12-year-old Angel Gallegos to rest.

Gallegos was hit by a stray bullet Thanksgiving evening near 7400 Cahill Drive in the Skyline neighborhood. San Diego police detectives said the bullet went through the family’s backyard fence and struck him in the back, killing him.

“He was just so loved, very loved,” said Maria Gaspar-Casillas, the victim’s aunt. “I have a 12-year-old, so they played around and horsed around. They were just kids, you know.”

The mass was entirely in Spanish and his aunt said the priest spoke to the family and comforted them.

“He made it a point to say that we all grieve in different ways, so it could be a year, two years, a month, two months,” she explained. “There’s no timeframe for grieving.”

Following the church service, friends and family were invited to Gallegos’ burial. Gaspar-Casillas said the family had been so touched by all of the community support.

“They’ve been bringing food around and candles, still lighting candles,” she said. “Tonight will be the last night we’re lighting his candles. It’s the 12th day he was 12, so we’re getting together after the funeral at the house to light his candles.”

San Diego Police Homicide Detectives confirmed they are still investigating the shooting and asking anyone with information to come forward. They did not release any new details on the case Tuesday.

 For those who want to donate to the family, a GoFundMe page has been set up for Gallegos.

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