A Sparks family is grieving the loss of a 13-year-old girl, after she was accidentally shot by her older brother.
The news shocked the entire Dilworth Middle School community, where 13-year-old Alondra Cervantes would have celebrated the beginning of summer just two days after she died.
Washoe County School District sent grief counselors to the middle school Tuesday, where the administrators, students, and family of the victim spent the day not in celebration of the end of the year, but coping with a tragic loss.
"It was sad," Cervantes' cousin Isela Vega said. "You see everyone, and everyone was crying."
"It was really bad," Cervantes' cousin Noemi Garcia said. "Everyone was crying. Everyone brought candles and pictures of her. It was just terrible."
"The students came in very subdued," WCSD Zone 2 Superintendent Pati Falk said. "There was a lot of sadness, a lot of grief. [This is] very difficult for a child to take in."
Friends and family said Cervantes was an energetic, happy person, full of spirit and humor. On Tuesday they took the first step in their grieving process by sharing their memories.
"She was one of those crazy, outgoing girls," Vega said. "If she saw us crying right now, she'd go up to you and she'd be like, 'Why are you crying? Don't cry.'"
"She was funny; she was smart; she was very sweet," Sydney Velasquez, a friend of Cervantes, said. "She was very energetic."
"She was always happy, smiling," Garcia said. "She would always make everyone's day."
More than a dozen counselors were on hand at the middle school to offer support and help guide the students through the long process of grieving.
"Grief, death, and loss is a process, not something we can just talk about and deal with in one day," Washoe County Coordinator of School Counseling Katherine Loudon said.
Accepting the loss of a loved one can take time and help. So if you or a loved one needs to talk to someone, you can contact a school counselor or call the crisis hotline at (775) 784-8090.
And a bank account is set up to help the Cervantes family with funeral costs. Just go to any Wells Fargo bank and ask for account #7321399219.