SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — San Bernardino stopped to honor one of its own Friday evening — Jonathan Martinez, the little boy killed during a murder-suicide at North Park Elementary.
Services were held at the Holy Rosary Cathedral.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Tina Patel reported from the service.
Although the Martinez family wanted to keep their privacy during their difficult time, they also understood their son’s death touched the community.
That is why the family decided to open up the viewing and funeral service to the public.
Patel observed former teachers, fellow students, their families and school officials. Many first responders also came to pay their respects.
Martinez, 8, was described as a very friendly and social boy. He had a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome. He’s undergone heart surgeries and as a result had some developmental delays.
Those delays were why he was in the class of mostly special needs students where the shooting took place.
His family said they hope at the very least Jonathan’s death helps spread the word about his disease
“Jonathan had a very bubbly and upbeat spirit,” says family friend Vernard Williams. “Always smiling, he was always very playful. And the times his father brought him by our home, I would always interact with him. He was always cheerful and everything like that.”
People who knew the boy also told Patel they’re still having trouble coming to grips with the fact he’s gone.
A GoFundMe page was established to help the family. More than $130,000 was raised. A family friend told Patel they are aware of the public outpouring and they are “overwhelmed” by the support and love of the community.