Updates From The Family

April 3rd, 2011

Let me give you an update with what is happening. I had Ethan living with me and my family all of September and some of October. He stayed with my mom on weekends. He loved staying here, but it was putting a strain on my kids. They didn’t want to do homework, and their grades were falling. So, my mom said she would take him. I know she couldn’t, but it was just not working here. Ethan did come and stay with us for the weekends though to give my mom a break. I feel bad that he couldn’t stay with us because I promised Alex I would do whatever I could to keep him safe. Now I let him down. We tried to let Roxanne have him, but that was a mistake. She did try her best to clean up for Ethan, but every three months she started drinking again. Ethan needs a stable home not a home where he has to fend for himself because mommy is passed out. My mom even went as far as letting Roxanne move in with her. But that was even a worse mistake. We enrolled Ethan in Kindergarten at the same school as Adrian. That way they know his situation. The problem was that my mom had to be at work by 7:00. And school started at 8:00. So, when my mom left she made sure Roxanne was up to get Ethan to school. But, come to find out she never took him once. And one night my mom came home from work and Ethan was crying and starving. Roxanne left him home alone for a little while during the day to go get drunk. When my mom got home she was passed out on the couch. So, my mom fed Ethan and gave him a bath and they went to bed. My mom woke up at 3:00am to Roxanne getting sick in the kitchen. And Roxanne was laughing to herself and she even got sick all over the kitchen. When my mom woke up at 5:00 am to get ready for work there was puke all the floor and table. She didn’t even clean up after herself. But, the last straw was when my mom got home the same day from work, the mess was still there and she was passed out again. So, my mom took all her stuff and loaded it into her car and drove her to a hotel. She yelled at her and gave her a piece of her mind. Told her that this is why Alex got a divorce from her and why he didn’t want her around the boys. Now, Alex isn’t here to protect his son. And this is why I don’t understand why Alex and Adrian are gone. Alex was doing everything right in his life to give the boys a good life. And here comes Roxanne’s step father, who took them away from us. How is that fair? The two people that have everything to live for are gone? My mom now has legal custody of Ethan. She has full custody of him. We had to take him away from Roxanne. She was always drunk. She was living in a hotel and we would let Ethan stay with her for the weekends only, because she was doing well for awhile. She was going to AA meetings and she was proving to us she wanted to change for Ethan. But, then one day my mom got a call from the hotel manager to come over quick. Ethan was filthy and running around in the parking lot. When my mom got there Roxanne was passed out on the bed. So, my mom woke her up and told her to never come by and get Ethan again, she was done trying to make it work with her. When Ethan got to my moms, she sat him down and told him he was staying with her forever now. And that mommy was sick and she needs help. Ethan said he knows and wants to stay with my mom anyway. So, now Ethan is in a daycare during the day, but it is a great daycare. It has a kindergarten in it and he loves going every day. He doesn’t want to leave at night. He is doing so well in school, he is learning to spell and read. He even has dress up days at school. He has grown so much. I know Alex is so proud of his little boy. He is so smart. Ethan does go to therapy every week. He is having a hard time with throwing things. Now, we know why, it is because he sees his grandpa shooting them and he wants to throw things at him to make him go away. Ethan has a really cool room at my mom’s now. He got a new tent bed that has a fort under it. And he has lights under it for night time. He is really loving being at my mom’s house. He even helps set the table at night and helps to pour the milk for cereal. He is one amazing kid; Alex did such a great job raising him. I am so proud of you Alex, I love calling you my brother. I miss you every day.

April 2nd, 2011

Today was a very rough and difficult day. Today my mom and I had to go thru all of Alex and Adrian’s belongings. I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard. We had to go thru all of Adrian’s toys and keep the ones that were still in good condition for Ethan to have. I knew they liked Lego’s, and they sure did have a lot of them. Then we had to get rid of all the furniture, Alex didn’t have much but what he had was good stuff. We gave Adrian’s bed to a nice little girl who needed a bed, and we also gave her his car seat. They also took Alex’s coffee table. Alex’s younger brother has all of his entertainment equipment. Alex had an awesome system and entertainment center. I know Alex would want Chris to have this. So, I am glad he has it. Chris also has all of Alex’s framed puzzles. Alex loved to do puzzles with the boys. I took Alex’s futon for my house; it is upstairs in the loft. That is the perfect place for it. Whenever we had a party that is where Alex always was, upstairs in the loft with the kids building Lego’s with them. I also have his first driver’s license, boy he looked so young. But, I am so glad I have it. Also, my youngest Kaleb wanted Alex’s dressers. So, he has them in his room. Kaleb had the best relationship with Alex. He couldn’t wait for parties so they could build things all day. Then came the hard part, going thru their clothes. Everything smelled like them. We kept all of Alex and Adrian’s shirts because someone is going to make us a quilt out of them. It makes me so sad though to see that Alex was just too proud to ask for help. He was wearing socks with holes in them, and that makes me upset. He should have never had to do that. But, that was the person he was, too proud to ask for help. He wanted to do everything on his own. That is what I am so proud of, that is what a real man is in my eyes. All of Alex’s nieces and nephew’s have a work shirt with his name on it. That way they will never forget what he did and how hard he worked for his boys. When we left yesterday my trunk and my mom’s trunk was full of his stuff. He had very little, but now it is all with me, my mom, Ethan, or his nieces and nephews. It was a very hard day, and I cried the whole way home. And then when I got home I went into my closet and cried there for 30 minutes. I still don’t understand why they are gone???? Two innocent and perfect people gone forever. Now, this world is missing out on two great people.

February 2011

Finally their grave marker came. We have been waiting for it since November 2010. I go to the cemetery every Friday to sit with the boys. This Friday it was a surprise when I got there. The workers were just installing the marker. I got to sit and watch the whole thing. I was happy that I got there just in time. I kept telling Alex please let me be there when they install it. And he made sure I was, thank you so much Alex!!!!! I sat in my car the whole time they installed it, I couldn’t stop crying. As soon as it was installed I walked over and sat there for an hour. It is so perfect, just like the two of them. I know they are looking down on it and they have a big smile. It is just what they would have wanted. There is a poem on the back that my mom wrote for them. On the front are their names and an oval picture of them. Alex is holding Adrian, it is the perfect picture. Under Alex’s name is his R/C buggy etched in. and under Adrian’s name is his monster truck R/C. it is so perfect, still can’t believe they are gone. It has been 8 months, but it seems just like yesterday I got the horrible news. I still have nightmares and I can’t sleep. I actually had to start therapy. Because, I still think I should have been able to protect Alex. I am the big sister that is my job. I feel sick to my stomach sometimes when I think of how they should still be here. My younger brother and nephew are dead and I want them back. I have so much I want to say to them and now I will never have the chance. I didn’t even get to say my goodbyes or my I love you. I am always wondering if he really knew how much I loved them, how proud I am of him. Alex is such a great dad and I forgot to tell him that sometimes. I have so much guilt because I didn’t see him since Christmas 2010. I just want to see him one more time to tell him everything. I love you Alex and Adrian. You two are so missed and loved!!!!!

Front Side of the Marker

Back Side of the Marker

January 13th and 22nd 2011

These are two bad days. The 13th is Alex’s birthday and the 22nd is Adrian’s. We all went to the cemetery these days and sang to them. We even made cupcakes and left one there for them. I know the birds ate them but, that is ok. The kids always run around and play with Alex’s baseball or Frisbee. Then we just sit around and talk about them or what is going on with each other. We always make sure that their grave has lots of decorations for the season.

Christmas 2010

Another difficult is here upon us. Just shopping for toys this year was hard. I waited to the last second to do my shopping, because I just couldn’t get my head into the holiday. Christmas is always at my house, and this year no different. I didn’t put up all the decorations, it was just too hard. Kaleb didn’t want anything to do with Lego’s this year, because it reminded him of Alex. Every time I went into a store it was hard. I actually had a breakdown in a toy store. I don’t know how it happened, but I was in the Lego isle. I just started crying. Ethan gave me his list and he really wanted Stinky the dump truck. So, I got that for him. You should have seen his face when he opened it. Alex would have been laughing at him. It was so funny and cute. He played with that dump truck all day and night. I went out and bought a special stocking holder for Alex and Adrian. It is silver and it can hold a picture. So, I put their picture in it and put it right by our tree. That way they are with us all the time and they get to see Ethan open up all his presents. This was a hard Christmas for me, because it is exactly one year ago that I saw Alex. Last year it was his last Christmas with his family. Last year he spent all day upstairs building with the kids. And we finally talked him into coming downstairs for awhile to play card games. We just taught him hand and foot. I was all excited to play with him again this year, but now I will never get that chance. My house was quite this year, just like Thanksgiving. It is usually so full of laughter and kids screaming, but this year it was quiet. Oh, Alex and Adrian, nothing is ever going to be the same without you two.

Thanksgiving 2010

Today is turkey day and Alex’s oldest nephew’s 13th birthday. Today was very hard. We had turkey day at my mother in laws house as always. But, this year it was so quiet. And it was obvious two special people weren’t there. Every year you can hear all the boys and kids outside playing, but this year it was so quiet. Ethan was having fun playing with his cousins, but you can tell he missed his dad and brother. Alex was always outside playing ping pong with the kids, or tetherball. Or he let Kaleb take him on an ATV ride. Alex loved having Kaleb drive him around. But this year there was none of that. It was a very different day. Alex loved my mother in laws cherry pie, so I made sure she still made it for him. And when I got there, I put a picture of the boy’s right by their cherry pie. That way they were right by their favorite thing. Then my mom, I and my brother went to the cemetery. We spent a little while with them. I know it sounds dumb, but I took a plate of food there for them. That way they got to eat all the turkey, ham, mash potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cheesy potatoes, and baked beans. And of course, their cherry pie. That way they didn’t miss the great food. So, today was hard, but Ethan had a blast and he is doing better every day.

Halloween 2010

This year I just couldn’t do our annual Halloween party at my house. It is just too soon and painful. I didn’t even decorate my house like I usually do. I didn’t even dress up either. I just couldn’t bear to get out of bed. But, I knew I had to for my family. One of my best friends had the party at her house for me. Ethan came dressed up as Mario. He couldn’t wait for this day to come. He had his mustache on and he looked great. He couldn’t wait for it to get dark to go out to get candy. It was a fun day for him. The only bad thing was that Roxanne came drunk. And she slept upstairs the whole time. I know that I shouldn’t put this in here but she is just messing up her opportunities to have Ethan back. Every time I see her she is drunk. I keep telling her to go in a program but she won’t. And this makes me upset and sad. Upset because Alex and Adrian are gone and they were doing well in their lives. And she is still messing up in hers. It just keeps showing me and my mom that she isn’t ready to have Ethan back. And I am sad because Ethan needs his mommy. She was so drunk that she couldn’t even stay out with us the whole time we trick or treated. And she wouldn’t discipline Ethan, when he was running in the street, I had to. But, all in all as long as Ethan had a great day, then we all did.

Sunday August 1, 2010:

Today Ethan wanted to stay the weekend with his Grandma T. He was so excited to be staying with her. He even still calls her framma. He can’t pronounce G sounds. And when he said framma to her, she just cried. Grandma T sat with him on Friday night and played with him. But she had to leave the room a couple of times and cry. She couldn’t believe that he was there and there was no Adrain. She sat watching him play and kept saying to herself how sad to have just him here. He now has to play Thomas the Train all by himself. On Saturday Ethan’s 3 cousins came over to Grandma T’s house to stay the night with him. But we all first stopped by the cemetery first and had a picnic. We all sat there at the gravesite and ate and the four kids played. They even got Alex’s Frisbee out and threw it around. Ethan’s older cousin taught him how to throw it the correct way. Then Ethan was rough housing with his other cousin. And this hurt me a lot, because this was the way he was with Adrain. Always rough housing with each other. And when it was time to leave Alex and Adrain, Ethan sat quietly with his hands on the fresh gravesite and his eyes closed and said goodbye. Then he told us we had to sit and tell them goodbye. This made me cry so much but I held it in till they drove away. I then sat at the gravesite and cried my eyes out for 20 minutes. I just sat there and asked Why? Why you two perfect people? Then when all the kids got back to Grandma T’s house they all went swimming. They all had a great time. Ethan told one of his cousins that she had to sleep by him. And he even had her hold his hand the whole time they slept. Then on Sunday the 1st we came to pick up the kids and Ethan was sad. He didn’t want them to go. It was very sad for me to leave him there. When I got into the car I cried. But we will be getting to see Ethan every other weekend.

Tuesday July 20th, 2010:

Today Ethan went back into surgery to have his skull repaired. The surgeons didn’t like the way his head was growing back so they had to go back in and repair it. He did well and was out of the hospital on Friday the 23rd. there were no complications with the surgery. He sure is a trooper. Roxanne stayed with him the whole time he was in the hospital. He is emotionally doing ok. Ethan has a fake Cars phone that he carries with him and talks to his Daddy and brother all day every day. You can tell in his little eyes that he really doesn’t get what is going on. You ask him what is going on and he just says Daddy and brother are dead. Roxanne is doing well, she can’t lift anything with her arms. The only thing she can lift has to be lighter than a paper towel roll. She and Ethan are in therapy.

Sunday July 4, 2010:
We wanted to share a couple of pictures from the memorial service.

Walking to the grave site.
Walking to the grave site

Roxanne’s cousin playing “Amazing Grace”
Roxanne's cousin playing

Trying to say goodbye….
Trying to say goodbye...

Saturday July 3, 2010:
Family and friends filled the 250-capacity Chapel at Mt. View Mortuary & Cemetery on East Highland Avenue on Saturday with many left standing without a seat. It was heartwarming to see so many family, friends and the community come say their final farewells to Alex and Adrian. Roxanne and Ethan were also present and overwhelmed with the outpour of support. Pastor Royce Lee spoke and reflected on the value of time and life’s fragility. He spoke of the dedicated father that was often found either constructing ramps for his sons’ R/C cars or spending quality time with the boys when he wasn’t working to provide for them.

So many people shared such wonderful and warm stories of Alex and Adrian including Adrian’s Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Klein who recalled Adrian’s first day of school. Alex’s employer spoke about the dedication Alex had towards his children and how he channeled that same level of dedication into his work. Ray Culverson, Director of Youth Services for the San Bernardino Unified School District, discussed the need for communities to be children’s advocates and that Alex was the epitome of what being a good father entailed. Adrian’s cousin, 9-year old Kaleb Bradley, stood on top of a stepstool so he could reach the microphone to recount the memories he had with his cousin building Legos together. Alex’s father, Alex Trujillo Sr., thanked those in attendance for their endless support during this very tragic period. He expressed his gratitude for the time he was able to have with Alex and Adrian, however brief.

A photo montage played on a screen portraying the short lives of Alex and Adrian. Those attending watched in silence with muted smiles on their faces and tears streaming down their cheeks. Six pallbearers carried out the dark blue casket containing Alex’s body followed by four pallbearers carrying a smaller light blue casket holding 6-year old Adrian. The caskets made their way to their final resting place beneath a large pine tree driven by two black hearses. More than 250 people followed the hearses by foot to the gravesite. There, family and friends stood in a sea of black and watched on as Pastor Lee spoke a few final words. Eric Olsen, Roxanne’s brother, concluded the ceremony with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” played on his violin.

Adrian’s casket was lowered on top of Alex so the father could remain together with his son much as he was in life.

Alex and Adrian’s funerals mark the closing of a tremendously difficult chapter in our lives. Now we must find a way to get up every morning and proceed forward to the next chapter, Healing. Alex and Adrian may not have been global figures but they left their mark and touched the lives of those they left behind. Adrian put smiles on the faces of those he met with his vivacious personality. Alex made a positive impact on the lives of those who surrounded him: his friends, his colleagues, his parents, his sisters, his brother and most of all his children.

Tuesday June 28, 2010:
Memorial services honoring the lives of 33-year old Alex and 6-year old Adrian Trujillo have been finalized. A viewing for family and friends will be held on Friday, July 2nd, 2010 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM. Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 at 10:00AM.

Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery
570 East Highland Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92404
(909) 882-2943

Saturday June 26, 2010:
Ethan is looking very good today. He has begun to talk out loud and it has been wonderful to hear his voice. We are so relieved that he is talking. I can’t imagine what we would have done if he was not able to speak again. The swelling in his head has reduced dramatically. The bruising around his eye is almost gone. Since he started eating he has been using his left hand. Prior to this he was using his right hand for writing and eating. We are still not sure if this is a temporary thing or how long it will last.
Roxanne along with the counselors had the difficult task of talking to him about his Dad and Brother. He was already aware of what happened and told them before they even asked. He is such a strong boy; it is truly amazing seeing how tough he is. You can still see there are some deep emotions inside this little guy. I know it will take a lot of time for him to truly overcome this tragedy.
Even though the staff at Loma Linda are treating him like a king and giving him all kinds of food, he is really looking forward to an In-an-Out Cheese Burger. He was so excited to go outside for the first time and see sunlight and get some fresh air. The first thing he saw was an airplane in the sky, he pointed his finger to the sky and yelled “airplane”. With each passing day he is continuing to improve as the doctors had hoped. It’s great to have him back in good spirits.

Friday June 25, 2010:
The tough process of coordinating burial services has begun. It has been difficult to come to grips with the reality of laying down not one but two of our beloved ones. Both of whom had lives cut all too short. Shopping the small burials has set in a sense of realism to this nightmare that we cannot awake from. Adrian was very eager to lose his first tooth so that the Tooth Fairy would come visit him and now he will never have that experience. As Alex and Arian are laid to rest the family is left with the pain and emptiness. It is challenging to wake up every morning and face this reality. Going through the everyday motions and functions has also proven difficult. They say life goes on. For us it must and it will. We have young children, Adrian and Ethan’s cousins that we need to be strong for. Although life will go on for us it will never be the same, as there are pieces of us that died too on that fatal Saturday afternoon.
Alex is survived by his older sister Jenni, younger sister Melanie and younger brother Christopher. He will be laid to rest alongside his son, Adrian, under a tree. Alex and Adrian both loved the outdoors and nature. They were often found combing the sandy beaches on a warm and sunny day.
There have been inquiries made by individuals who have expressed an interest in helping our family with funeral costs and medical expenses but prefer a mailing address. We have posted an address for those who are able and willing to donate on our homepage. We have also posted some additional pictures of them in the gallery.

Thursday June 24, 2010:
Roxanne is steadily recovering from her wounds. We recently learned from the doctors that she suffered a total of 22 gunshots. It is a miracle that she survived and a true testament to the will of a mother’s desire to survive for her child. Roxanne is maintaining a positive attitude and spends as much time as she can with Ethan. Doctors have removed Ethan’s feeding tube and he is now able to drink and eat small amounts of food on his own. The injuries sustained to his head is still swollen and bruised but we have hope that with each passing day he will continue to grow stronger and the visible damages will subside. Ethan was shot once in the head. The bullet entered his head above his left ear and exited out above his right ear. He has not yet spoken a word since the shooting and we can only continue to pray that there are no permanent damages. Ethan was trying to grow his hair out so he could look like his older cousins, but doctors had to shave his head and now all we see are the stitches. The image of Ethan’s smiling face, his high spirit and the vibrant boy he was prior to the shooting gives us the strength to continue this fight by his side. The road ahead for little Ethan is very long. We can only hope that there is no permanent damage to his brain. He has yet to learn of his brother and father’s death. How do you tell a 5-year old his daddy and older brother are gone and not coming back?

Wednesday June 23, 2010:
We do not know how to express the immense gratitude we have for the public and to our community. The tremendous offer of support you have given us, your prayers, positive thoughts and kind words have helped lift our spirits and provided us hope that Roxanne and Ethan will make it through this. Your donations, no matter how much, leave us forever in your debt. Every dollar you have found in your hearts to donate to our family alleviates the financial burden that we must now face. From preparing two burials, to the medical costs and rehabilitation expenses of the survivors … it is all too overwhelming. Thank you for your compassion. Our family has been financially stricken during these tough economic times and if not for your generosity and kindness, we would not know how to cope. From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Tuesday June 22, 2010:
Roxanne has continued to show signs of improvement with each passing day.  She is able to stand and get into a wheelchair so she can visit Ethan throughout the day in the hospital.  It is a miracle that she was able to survive from such a brutal attack.  She is a fighter and gains strength in knowing she needs to survive for her son.  Doctors have removed Ethan’s ventilator and he is now breathing on his own.  He is able to stand and walk short distances.  Doctors are still unsure if there will be any permanent damages stemming from their wounds.  We continue to pray and hope that they are able to fully recover physically from this tragedy.  The public’s prayers, kindness and generosity has been met with the utmost gratitude.