HANFORD, Calif. (KSEE) — The Hanford community gathered Thursday to remember Wyland Gomes.
The 10-year-old was allegedly shot and killed by his own father Monday in an apparent murder suicide.
A vigil in the boy’s honor brought hundreds to the city’s Civic Center Auditorium.
Wyland’s mother addressed the crowd.
“No mother and her family should ever have to go through such tragedy,” Christy Camara said.
Organizers said the plans for the vigil started yesterday and the response was overwhelming.
“It started off rather small, let’s have a candlelight vigil in the civic park,” Mario Cifuentez Hanford City Manager said, but he said it grew exponentially.
“Not to minimize any other tragedy that we have in the community, but this is one that really just touched the lives of local folks,”Cifuentez said.
There was an outpouring of support in the wake of tragedy.
“Anything we need somebody’s there. So thank you to the community and thank you to our family and friends for this love and support and I know she’s going to need continued support throughout her life and this is just the beginning,” Alysia Gonzalez Wyland’s aunt said.
The loss was felt throughout the city.
“When you go home tonight, hug your family, and especially hug your children and tell them that you love them, tell them that you love them,” Francisco Ramirez the vice mayor of Hanford said.
Family said they were very thankful for all the support they’ve received, but miss the boy they called an old soul, with a quick wit and caring heart.
“We recently learned that he would sit next to a kid he saw sitting alone at school and wanted to sit with him to ensure he also had a friend even though he had his own group of friends. So that kid needs to know he’s not alone just because Wyland is no longer with us,” Gonzalez said.
“In this amazing community we live in. We know his memory will live on,” Camara said.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Wyland’s mother: