Education

Horizon High vigil mourns loss of 15-year-old killed in El Paso mass shooting

Javier Amir Rodriguez was "one of a kind"

The Horizon community remembers...

HORIZON CITY, Texas - The youngest fatality stemming from the El Paso mass shooting tragedy was just 15 years old and starting his sophomore year at Horizon High School.

The Horizon High School, and Clint ISD family, filled the bleachers at the football stadium to remember and mourn the loss of Javier Amir Rodriguez.

Javier loved soccer.

"Soccer was life for Javier," one of his coaches said.

A former teacher recalled the days Javier would walk into class dribbling a soccer ball.

Friends, teachers and coaches described Javier as "one-of-a-kind," "unselfish," and "the ultimate teammate."

"He was a kid that would bring pride into every person," Horizon senior Gael Ramirez said. "I would see him laughing, goofing around with his friends. That would bring a lot of joy to us."

Monday night's vigil was filled with tears, loving embraces and also anger.

"We do not deserve this," Clint ISD Superintendent Dr. Juan Martinez shouted into a microphone, his voice echoing across the field. "Javier did not deserve this! No, not our children! Stop taking them from us!"

But Dr. Martinez made a point of transferring current anger into future positivity.

"That's what we will do."

Javier was inside the Walmart with his uncle when the gunman entered and began firing. Octavio Lizarde shouted for Amir to duck. Now Lizarde just wishes he had another chance to speak with him.

"[I'd tell him] that I love him. That I can't be without him."

Now Javier leaves behind a legacy that won't be forgotten but one that comes too soon.

"His legacy is one of hope," Dr. Martinez said. "But it doesn't change the fact that a 15-year-old left us. And he didn't have to. He didn't have to leave a legacy. There was no need for a legacy. He belonged here."


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