Updated: Family sets up account for funeral expenses

Tara Romero, 14, died in an apparent drive-by shooting near

Family members of Tara Romero, 14 of Morgan Hill, are seeking donations to offset the costs of her funeral, and set up a Wells Fargo account to which anyone can contribute.
Family members of Tara Romero, 14 of Morgan Hill, are seeking donations to offset the costs of her funeral, and set up a Wells Fargo account to which anyone can contribute.

Romero died in a drive-by shooting Friday night in west Morgan Hill, at the corner of Cosmo and Del Monte avenues. She is one of four teenage victims in the shooting, almost immediately after which police arrested five suspects.

Romero’s sister, Regina Zamora, said the victim’s mother cannot afford to pay for her daughter’s funeral expenses, and family members set up a bank account at Wells Fargo for that purpose. Anyone can walk into the bank and make donations. Donations can be made to the “Regina Zamora/Tara Romero Fund,” account number 7555832786.

Zamora, 39 of San Jose, said her sister will be missed by many people.

“My sister was a beautiful young lady. She was outgoing, sweet, energetic, not afraid to be happy and dance with her older sister,” Zamora said. “She loved life and had lots of friends.”

Romero lived in Morgan Hill with her mother, Annettee Romero-Navarez, who is still too distraught to speak about the loss of her daughter, Zamora said.

Romero was a freshman at Sobrato High School. A fellow SHS student who was at the scene Saturday morning remembered Romero as a popular student.

“She was really nice. She was friends with everybody,” said Christopher Romo, 17, a junior at Sobrato High.

On Sunday, flowers, candles, balloons and a photograph of Romero, adorned the site where she died, in a grass alleyway between two apartment buildings. A resident of the apartment complex, who did not know any of the victims, was re-lighting candles that were drenched by Saturday night’s rain showers. The rain also washed away thick puddles of blood on the grass marking where the four teenage victims fell after being shot in what police characterized as an indiscriminate drive-by attack perpetrated by five alleged gang members who were arrested shortly after the incident.

Also injured in the drive-by were a 14-year-old girl from San Jose with a bullet wound to her right leg, a 15-year-old boy from Morgan Hill who was shot in the leg, and a 14-year-old San Jose girl who was shot in the stomach, Morgan Hill police Capt. Jerry Neumayer said.

Two of the females were taken to Valley Medical Center, and the male was taken to San Jose Regional hospital, where he was treated and released, police said.

The group of victims was waiting for a ride about 9:30 p.m. at the corner of Del Monte and Cosmo avenues, Neumayer said. They had just attended a birthday party in the adjacent Community Park. A Chrysler 300 drove around the corner and at least one of the occupants opened fire on the group, who tried to flee before all four were struck by the bullets.

A Morgan Hill officer was in the area of the shooting when he saw the Chrysler fleeing the scene. He chased the car to a home on Barnell Avenue. With assistance from area agencies, including the regional SWAT team and hostage negotiators, police arrested five suspects.

Arrested were Esmeling Bahena, 18 of Morgan Hill; Ricardo Diaz, 19 of Morgan Hill; Fernando Mateo, 20 of Gilroy; Primitovo Hernandez, 23 of San Jose; and a 17-year-old male from Morgan Hill. The four adults were booked into county jail, and the 17-year-old was booked into juvenile hall, Neumayer said.

Leave your comments