Central Fresno woman mourning death of her oldest son as she prepares for brother's murder trial

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Cristine is having to find strength in indescribable pain after her son Airek Cooper became Fresno's 22nd homicide of the year last week. (KFSN)

Struck by tragedy twice in two years Cristine Riley's brother, Jerald Riley, was murdered in the Tower District in October 2014. Now her family is reeling with pain again after her 22-year-old son Airek Cooper was killed in a Southwest Fresno home last week.

"I fell to my knees. I was sick to my stomach, I just could not-- it was a shock. I could not believe it was happening again to our family."

Cristine is having to find strength in indescribable pain after her son Airek Cooper became Fresno's 22nd homicide of the year last week.

"I haven't really been able to form a sentence since finding out-- there's no words."

The young man that had a charming smile was stabbed once in the chest inside a home in Southwest Fresno.

"We're not sure what he was doing there and all of the circumstances surrounding it."

It's an all too familiar reality for Cristine. We were there when her family mourned the loss of Jerald who was murdered the same way in the Tower District almost two years ago.

"That part of it makes me mad. Makes me very angry, and it's just like, wow, they both were stabbed."

Two back to back tragedies leaving Cristine and her family little time to properly grieve.

"I think I'm still in shock, like, I don't want to believe or accept-- not only is he gone be was violently taken."

Cristine tells as her family prepares to bury her oldest child they are also getting ready to face the man accused of killing her mom's only son.

"Next week is going to be tough. It's the funeral for my son and beginning of the following week is jury selection for my little brother trial."

Though tragedy has knocked on their door again, Cristine has found comfort in knowing her son is with her beloved brother.

"That helps. That helps a lot knowing that they are together, you know, it's sad but at least they got each other."

We asked Cristine if she had a message for her son's killer. She said she wants them to know "God loves you" and she hopes they will turn themselves into police.
Related Topics:
newsstabbingfresnohomicideFresno - CentralFresno - Tower District
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