Orosi Students Return to School

October 28, 2008 7:26:06 PM PDT
The Tulare County gang unit was in full force in Orosi on Tuesday. They're still asking anyone with any information on last weekend's murders to come forward. On Tuesday, students took advantage of grief counselors to deal with the tragic weekend.Kids were back at school on Tuesday after an Orosi High School student was one of three people shot and killed last weekend.

Cutler-Orosi school officials said only about half of the district's Students went to class on Monday, after school officials gave students an excused absence if they felt unsafe going to school. Superintendent Carolyn Kehrli says "Today we did send out an All Call and ask that students return to school today. I'm very pleased. It looks like, for the most part, we had at least 90% in attendance, if not more."

Three separate shootings last weekend left three people dead. Two of the victims were teenage boys. One a former, and the other a current Orosi High School student. As students shuffled back and forth to class, Kehrli said the school was struggling with the death of a classmate. Kehrli says "We've seen a lot of students who are in various stages of grief."

Orosi Drive and Second Street is where Sheriff's deputies found the third murder victim. Maria Gonzalez says she saw 37-year-old Rocio Martinez and another woman lying on the ground with gunshot wounds to the head. Maria Gonzalez says "I was trying to see if she was alive. I was trying to help her but she was gone."

Gonzalez is a family friend of the victims. She says Martinez's husband was also found shot in the head and is on life support at a local hospital. She says the shootings are difficult for the community. Gonzalez says "She was a very good person. She would come by on her way to the market and we would say hi to each other. She was a nice person."

School officials said the Orosi High School Varsity football team was supposed to play at home this Friday night. Officials have changed that to be an away game in Strathmore instead because it is Halloween and they don't want to risk any more violence this weekend. The Junior Varsity football game has been canceled.

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