THE family of Filipino-American Valentino Alvero is devastated for losing a “loving father, a dedicated son and brother, a grandfather” to the “heart-shattering and life-altering” tragedy in Los Angeles county.
The utmost request of the bereaved family at this point is to pray for the repose of his soul.
The 68-year old Alvero was a devout Catholic and with his instant death during the mass shooting in Monterey Park, his family regretted that he missed his last Sacrament.
“It is a great travesty that he did not receive last rites. He was a devout Catholic and our family would like to request all priests and Catholics to pray for him by name, Valetino Marcos Alvero,” the family said in a statement released to media in the US.
What’s driving the news
Alvero is one of the 11 people who died after one man fired upon many revelers of Chinese Lunar Year celebration in Monterey Park City in Los Angeles.
Almost 60 percent of the 60,000 residents in Monterey Park are Asians. Many of the Asian residents are Filipinos, Vietnamese, Koreans and Chinese.
- A 72-year old gunman walked into Star Ballroom Dance Studio and fired 42 rounds of ammunition
- Then he drove to another city, Alhambra, and he entered another studio with a firearm. He was disarmed by a man and fled
- The suspect took his life after fleeing to neighboring city of Torrance
Who is Valentino Marcos Alvero
Alvero was a Filipino national who naturalized into US citizen.
In a statement, his family said they would like the public to remember him as “more than just a headline or a news story.”
“He was a loving father, a dedicated son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three granddaughters fiercely, an uncle who loved his nieces and nephews like his own,” the statement said.
The fact that he was inside the dance studio and partying during Chinese New Year celebration, it shows how much he “loved” ballroom dancing and his community.
Alvero was the “life of any party,” the family added.
“He loved people and hearing about their lives and in return, he shared his own stories with so much gusto and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh along with him,” they recalled.
He will sorely be missed by the family and his community.
“We hope that he danced to his heart’s content until the very end and hope that he is now dancing in heaven,” they said.
The family’s request is that priests and all Catholics say a prayer for him and for the 10 other victims of the Monterey Park shooting.
“Please offer up any Masses or rosaries you can for the repose of his soul. Pray for Valentino by name, and for the souls of all victims of mass shootings and for an end to mass shootings in our nation and the world,” they said.
They said Alvero was a “faithful servant of God.”
“We know that he would want the world to lift his family in prayer more than anything,” they added.
The family asked the public to allow them to “mourn in peace form this point forward” as they expressed thanks for all the messages of sympathy.
Mass shootings in the US
There are now 39 mass shootings in the US this month alone, according to Gun Violence Archive. Five of these shootings are in California, where there are around more than 1 million Filipinos and Filipino-American residents, as of 2019 census.
“We became unwilling members of a community who has to mourn the loss of our loved ones due to gun violence. We are left frustrated, stuck with this vicious cycle,” the Alvero family said as they expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the other victims as well.
Aside from Alvero, three other victims of the Monterey Park mass shooting were identified Xiujuan Yu, 57, Mymy Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63. Two other Taiwanese-Americans are also confirmed by the Taiwanese de facto consulate in California.
The Alvero family hopes the families of mass killings would “look out for each other” in this time of grief.
“May kindness and grace finds us in the dark days ahead. Our hearts are with you,” they said.