WARRENVILLE, Illinois (CBS) — A mother of four who grew up in a western suburb of Chicago was murdered in Mexico in a mass shooting.
The woman, Melissa Silva, and her sister had traveled to Mexico to visit relatives when gunmen stormed into a rally killing 19 people. Her sister was shot but survived.
Her grieving brother spoke to CBS 2’s Shardaa Gray on Wednesday.
“I went crazy for a few minutes,” said Alex Silva. “I could not believe it.”
Alex Silva and his family are devastated to learn the tragic news that his older sister Melissa, 36, is dead.
“I was well after — but later in the evening, you know, I still get those dreams,” said Alex Silva.
Melissa grew up in Warrenville but moved to Watsonville, California. She was one of 19 people killed Sunday night at a cockfighting site in the city of Las Tinajas, Mexico’s Michoacan state.
The local attorney general’s office said the “lifeless bodies” of 16 men and three women were found at the scene, all with gunshot wounds. It was later revealed that one more person had died on the way to the hospital. Six people were injured in the attack, Mexican prosecutors said.
And one of the murdered women was Alex Silva’s sister.
“I get a call from a friend here telling me they heard gunshots and it came from that spot, and two minutes later my mom calls me saying she had just arrived at the spot and she saw my oldest sister lying on the floor . floor,” he said.
His younger sister, 16-year-old Arleth Silva, was also at the event and was shot twice in the leg and once in the lung.
“It looked like she was trying to walk or help my older sister, and when she tried, she got hit,” said Alex Silva.
Alex flew to Mexico to bring his injured sister back to Warrenville. but he said the process with the US embassy takes many steps.
“It’s been pretty hard to get in touch with the US embassy and all these things, but they got in touch earlier today — but there’s still a lot to do,” he said. “You know, it’s a process.”
Alex says Melissa will be buried in Mexico. He says she is irreplaceable.
“She was just a hard-working mom,” he said. “She was single. She took care of her children – everything they needed. She would give them everything.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral and hospital costs.