Metro honors homicide victims - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Metro honors homicide victims

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Friends, family and Metro police honored victims who lost their lives to homicide and domestic violence Tuesday night.

"She was always really happy. She was a hair stylist. She worked with my mom, and she always wanted to spend time with her family," said Marina Gastelum, who lost her sister to domestic violence.

Marina Gastelum's sister, Daniela Gastelum, was killed on Nov. 27, 2013, in a murder-suicide. Daniela Gastelum's daughter, Isabel Burkett, said it's been hard to cope after losing both of her parents.

"It's very shocking that it even happens, and especially when it happened to me. You hear about it happening to other people, and you don't think it would happen to you. It leaves you speechless," Burkett said. 

Burkett said there are many things she'll miss about her mom, who was taken far too soon: "Not seeing her every day and growing up without her."

Burkett and Marina Gastelum attended the event to get comfort and support from people going through similar situations. That's one of the main purposes for the memorial.

"Maybe developing that comradery, that companionship with other people that understand what they're going through," said Elynne Greene with Metro's Victim Services Department.

Friends, family and first responders released balloons, lit candles and held a moment of silence for all homicide victims. The names of 23 people who lost their lives to domestic violence were read aloud. Those names will be added to a plaque, joining 300 other victims of domestic violence who have lost their lives over the last 12 years. Marina Gastelum said she hopes no other names will be added to the plaque.

"If there is something going on, speak out before anything like this can happen, and get the help that you need," she said.

There have been 98 homicides so far this year in Metro's jurisdiction, compared to 79 at this same time last year. Metro responds to more than 60,000 domestic-related calls every year. Greene said this is something the department is trying to combat.

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