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Nine-year-old Oscar laid to rest

Washington Post editors

OSCAR FERNANDO FUENTES
Febrero 17, 2000 - Noviembre 14, 2009


Almost a week after the fourth-grader was shot in his family's Columbia Heights apartment, killed by a bullet fired blindly through the door by a robber in the hallway, mourners gathered Friday in an old brick church at 16th and Newton streets NW.

They came in from the cool autumn air and sat in the dim light of the sanctuary, the slain child's coffin set before them at the foot of the altar. Some walked up the aisles under the high vaulted ceiling of St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church and bent to Oscar's mother in the front pew. They spoke in reverent whispers to Maritza Fuentes, saying what little they could say. Oscar's funeral, in Spanish, lasted just over an hour. Then relatives wheeled the white coffin out of the church on a carriage and carried it down the concrete steps to a hearse at the curb. Workers digging at the corner stopped and leaned on shovels as the mourners filed from St. Stephen. A baby cried and a woman wailed. Maritza Fuentes, a Salvadoran immigrant, stood silently among them on the steps, her tears spent. A cousin helped her to a limousine across the street, and she followed her son to Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

-- Paul Duggan

By Washington Post editors  |  November 20, 2009; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  Paul Duggan , The District  
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Comments

I'm sorry an innocent little boy was murdered, and my condolences to his family and loved ones. But why are the dates of his birth and death in Spanish? Is that supposed to me some sort of tribute to him? This is the Washington Post, written (often badly) in English. You might as well have written the whole article in Spanish. Better yet, put in La Diario and just provide a link.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 20, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Want to fight crime? Sweep the nieghborhood and deport all the illegals!!

Posted by: islandhopper24 | November 21, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

are you really serious..deport all the illeagals?? your so freaken ignorant! i read all the time about white, black, indian,muslims whatever race there is out there that kill all the time and ur solution is to deport the illegals...what gives u the right? you might have been born here but ur parents or ur grandparents or your ancestor where not!!!! i can't stand people like you!! we are in 2009 stop with all the racism!!!

Posted by: cristinaportillo04 | November 21, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

cristinaportillo04 - part way I agree with islandhopper! My relatives came here legally! All my family speaks English, and are proud to be Americans. What I see each and every day are illegal and legal immigrants from El Salvador, Mexico, and other latin american countries that are not proud Americans. They wave foreign flags, they speak foreign languages. They have no desire to learn English or to show loyalty to this great country. They want to live here and share the freedom that this country provides them and take the American dollar, but do not desire to be American. This does not represent 100% of all the immigrants, but it does represent a large persentage of them. Demanding that our government agencies like DMV publish material in Spanish. Demanding that our Public Schools send out letters to parents in Spanish. Paying someone to interpret the speach at the high school in spanish for parents that cannot understand it in English. In this story above, that mother lived here in this country for years, and cannot speak English! That is absolutely ridiculous!

Posted by: GolfPro2 | November 23, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm heartbroken w/ the fact that an innocent 9 year old could be killed in this country. How can something like this happen to allow robbers to threaten families and then chase them to their homes so easily? What kind of great society do we live in where a hard working immigrant family cannot even have protection in our society? If you want to help go contribute to Jim Graham Charity fund for the family. Maybe it's the least we can do to help Oscar's mother and relatives despair over such an unimaginable tragic event. My prayers go to Oscar's family and pray that Oscar is in a better place than the one we have here.

Posted by: bss2009 | November 24, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

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