PLANTATION — Daniel Torres’ life was cut short, but it was full of meaning and love, his family and friends said at his funeral Saturday.
The 13-year-old Hollywood boy was killed in an accidental shooting April 28.
He was a devout Christian who treated friends as close as family.
Although his family believes he is now in a better place, they said it is hard not to be sad.
“You were my right hand and left hand, Daniel, your mother is lost and confused,” said Doris Rivera in a letter read at the Calvary Chapel funeral by her sister, Estela Rivera.
“I’m sorry I could not protect you this time.”
In the letter, Rivera recalled how her son told her that he needed more shoes to be popular at school.
“Look at all the people who are here today,” Rivera said in the church with about 250 mourners.
Torres, an Apollo Middle School student, was fatally shot by a 14-year-old boy at the older boy’s home. Police are calling the shooting an accident, and there have been no arrests.
The older boy, who has not been identified, said in 911 recordings that he was playing with his mother’s gun at his house and thought it was unloaded. He said Torres stepped in front of him.
Family, friends and well-wishers came in to say goodbye to the teen, who was dressed in a shirt and tie in an open casket surrounded by thick bouquets of flowers.
A photo slideshow revealed the short life of Torres, full of smiles.
There were photos with family, admiring a race car, under the Christmas tree, beside a birthday cake, with his proud mother, and then the memorial to him with candles and teddy bears.
“I’m trying to be strong for my wife, I can’t let her down,” said Daniel’s stepfather, Daniel Delgado to the crowd.
“Thank you for being part of our life. We cry because we miss you, and you’re laughing because you’re with God right now.”