The father of a 19-year-old Burien teenager says he does not hold a grudge against those who took her life. She and another teen were gunned down outside the Alturas apartments in Burien Wednesday night.
This was the first time Ruben Cortez has seen the spot where his daughter was shot and killed Wednesday night. And it was difficult.
Still, he said he wanted to talk so people would know not just how his daughter died, but how she lived, too.
It took just a few moments for the tears to come.
Ruben Cortez stood inches from where his 19-year-old daughter, Eveona, was shot to death two nights earlier.
"She's just a beautiful human being," said Cortez. "She was full of joy. She was full of life. She was laughter."
Cortez stood next to his wife. She helped raise Eveona, and considered her a daughter.
"Never been a question about it, ever," said Kendra Cortez. "And I loved her very much. She was my best friend."
Eveona and 13-year-old friend Elizabeth Juarez were shot dead as they stood in the walkway to the Alturas apartments on Ambaum Boulevard Southwest King County sheriff's deputies are calling it a gang shooting. Detectives tell us they have suspect information. But they say they need and want more eyewitnesses to come forward.
Eveona's father says he wants that, too. But he doesn't want the killer's family to suffer as he is.
"Being in the prison system for many years is losing a child and I don't wish that on anybody," said Cortez. "I just pray that they come and get their heart right and they do what they feel is right."
And even in his grief, Cortez said his faith compels him to offer them this.
"I want them to know that they're forgiven from this family," said Cortez, his voice breaking. "And I pray nothing but healing for them."
Elizabeth Juarez was killed the day before she would have turned 14. The King County sheriff is asking anyone who knows anything about this shooting to call 911.
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