The mother was also wounded from the shooting, but she is expected to survive.
In a mass shooting that claimed the lives of four innocent victims, a 9-year-old boy named Matthew Farias was found dead in the arms of his wounded mother at the scene of the crime.
The boy's mother, Blanca Tamayo, is an employee working at the office complex targetted by the shooter, and she is expected to survive the shooting but has to bear the immense loss of losing her beloved young boy.
"My angel, he saved his mom from dying. He took the bullets for her," said Rafael "Ralphie" Farias, the boy's heartbroken father, according to USA TODAY.
Before Matthew was killed in the shooting, he and the other victims were locked up inside the office building by the suspected shooter, a 44-year-old trucking company owner. To make sure nobody could escape, and to prevent officers from entering, the man chained the building from the inside before carrying out the horrifying attack.
"I believe the shooter was familiar with the building," the property's owner, Alec Torres, told NBCLA. "He closed the front gate to the entrance, which would not allow anybody to leave."
The police also believe there might have been some connection between the shooter and the victims, as Orange Police Lt. Jennifer Amat said, "This was not a random act of violence. We believe everyone knew each other, whether through a business or personal relationship."
However, as 9-year-old Matthew's family is left mourning the child's devastating death, his father revealed that he has never met the shooter and believes there was absolutely nothing that justified innocent people dying this way.
I am devastated this morning by the news of another deadly mass shooting.— Michael Bennet (@SenatorBennet) April 1, 2021
My heart goes out to the families of the victims and the entire country as we grieve more lives lost to senseless gun violence.
Colorado stands with California.https://t.co/fzBR5BXAtg
"I'm so shocked. I've never met this person, animal. Innocent people did not deserve to die. I'm here with my pain... He was my only son, my life," Rafael said, as quoted by USA TODAY.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, as reported by the Independent, said, "It appears that a little boy died in his mother’s arms as she was trying to save him during this horrific massacre." Along with Matthew, the three others who lost their lives in the mass shooting were Luis Tovar, 50, his daughter, Genevieve Raygoza, 28, and Leticia Solis Guzman, 58.
Referred to as "my favorite" by his elementary school teachers, Matthew will be remembered as the kind of child who would run up to his father for a hug every morning with a smile on his face.
"It's heartbreaking that he is no longer here. It's hard," Rafael told the Orange County Register, as quoted by People. In the mass shooting that was unleashed by the suspect, Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, the shooter was also left wounded and taken to the hospital.
A GoFundMe page was started to help those families who lost their loved ones in the shooting. The daughter of Leticia, who was also shot to death during the incident, said on the fundraising page, "We are hoping to raise enough to help all of the families because my dad wouldn’t have had it any other way."
Another GoFundMe page was set up by Matthew's family as well to help with the funeral expenses.
Cover image source: GoFundMe