ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An 8th grader at Garfield Middle School took two tragedies that left two people dead in Albuquerque and found a way they could be remembered forever in print.
Albuquerque Police Officer, Daniel Webster, was shot and killed in the line of duty while conducting a traffic stop. Four-year-old Lilly Garcia was shot and killed during a road rage attack. Both of them died in October.
“The families go through so much stress, so much sadness and so many tears and they probably think no one understands,” Cassie Gutierrez said. “Although we may not know exactly what they’re going through, maybe we can show them we care.”
That’s why Gutierrez, an 8th grader at Garfield, decided to ask her teacher, Lisa Faith, if they could dedicate pages in the school’s yearbook to Webster and Garcia.
“For me, this was taking a really big idea and letting it stay with the kids,” Faith said. “I had my own ideas of how we could do this, but I needed to step back and just facilitate their understanding of it and facilitate their journey of how it impacts them and others.”
Gutierrez said she wanted to make sure it was okay with both families before moving forward, because in the end, she said, it was about them.
“I was trying to make it look perfect because I wanted it to be up to what they expected,” she said.
The two pages include stories about Webster and Garcia, about the way they lived life and the way they died. They have pictures of them and quotes from people who knew them.
Although Gutierrez doesn’t want any credit, she is asking one for one thing: “To be respectful and compassionate human beings because you never know what your kindness and loving personality could do for someone,” Gutierrez said.