Nine-year-old Oscar laid to rest
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
Washington Post editors
November 20, 2009; 3:43 PM ET
Categories: Paul Duggan , The District
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