On December 29, 1990, 13-year-old Ruben Morfin was walking to his grandmother's house with a few friends in Salinas, California, when a group of gang members began chasing them. The boys, including Ruben, began running in an attempt to flee to safety. Unfortunately, those gang members caught up with Ruben and one of them, Ezequiel Mariscal, 20, shot him point blank in the back of his head.
Ruben was not a gang member, but just a young boy in the wrong place at the wrong time, in what was once-beautiful community, that became infested with illegal alien gang members.
The wound was so devastating that a large portion of Ruben's brain actually exited the his skull. He was taken to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, where he soon died.
Ruben was a seventh-grader at El Sausal Middle School.
Mariscal quickly escaped back to Mexico, where it took four long years, and the help of the television show “America's Most Wanted,” to find him. However, due to Mexico's extradition policies, and the fact that the gang member could very well be facing the death penalty for his crime in this country, the government of Mexico refused to return him to the United States, and instead he received a 20-year prison sentence in the state of Jalisco.
After losing her son, Angie Morfin became an activist, seeking to protect this country from criminal aliens.
Angie has also been kind enough to share her personal and painful experiences on Ruben's murder:
Q: Where were you and how did you find out your son had been killed?
A: I had just gotten home from work and I called my mother to see if Ruben was at her house. He was always at her house or mine. She was upset because my brother Mario had taken Ruben to a party and he didn't have a ride back. I asked her to please call me when he got home.
I had just laid down when my phone rang. I could hear my mother screaming “they shot the nino...they shoot the nino!” I knew in my heart that it was Ruben. She told me to get to the hospital. When I finally found him, they would not let me see my son. They wanted anyone but me to go in. I had other family members go into the room in order to identify him.
The doctor asked me if Ruben had any enemies, and told me it was as if they grabbed him by the shoulder and shoot him in the back of the head, point blank. The doctor said that he was dying and the only thing keeping him alive was the ventilator, that half of his brain had been blown out. They wanted to clean him up a little, so I could go in, but as I walked into the room, I could see my baby lying on the table. He had tubes all over him, and as I got closer, the doctor said “he is dying, we have to take him off of life support.”
I said “please let me give him one last kiss, so he knows I'm here.”
I gave him a kiss and they turned off the machine, I looked at my baby and I could see a tear drop fall from his eye and he died.
Q: How has your life changed since this tragedy?
A: Before Ruben was killed my life was simply family and my work was all that was important to me. I never really cared about anything else. After much work and saving, we bought our house and I just wanted my family to have a decent place to live. And our dreams were coming to pass.
After Ruben's death, my life changed forever. For years, I simply grieved. I could not come to terms with the fact that someone would hate my little boy so much that they could hurt him. My grief was unbearable, like my ancestors, I wore black clothes for more than ten years. Customs that were from an old age were brought back by those trying to help me. The candles, the Rosaries, the herbs that were burned during the ceremonies. I was heartbroken. The quietness of my life was shattered forever.
My child was shot by a stranger a block from my mother's house, in a spot that I must have passed a million times. It came to the point that I would go into panic attacks when I came near that place.
As I slowly came out of my fog, I became an activist against hate and violence. But, I found that those in charge wanted me to help with the gang violence erupting our communities. I became a very strong voice. They wanted me, but also hated me because I just did not go their way. I stood my ground.
We had been raised to be good Democrats, but as I made the rounds I noticed more and more that it was only some Republicans who really cared and wanted to take action to stop the madness. The liberals who love to sing “Cumba Ya,” shake hands and take pictures simply wanted to keep things the same.
Q: How was the issue that the killer was here illegally covered by the local media?
A: At first, I didn't know anything about the guy who murdered Ruben. All I was told was that he was from Huntington Park and not from Salinas, and he was here “visiting family members for the holidays.” They said he didn't want to kill Ruben, but “only scare him.”
One day, I started to notice that every time they talked about Ezequiel Mariscal they would say he was a “Mexican national,” and that started to bother me. I learned that he was not in the country legally.
Q: What kind of person was Ruben? What were his goals, dreams, etc.?
A: Who was Ruben? Ruben was my life. He was my oldest child. He was my 'love-child.' His father was an American boy of Mexican parents. When I found out I was going to have a baby, my family encouraged me to find a good man and get married. I did marry and have more children. He loved them with all his heart.
Ruben had a heart of gold. He loved small children, and hated to see them cry. Ruben would do whatever it took to calm them down if they were crying.
He spent his time before and after school helping his grandparents with chores. When he wasn't doing that, he was playing baseball. Ruben loved the game. He would sign up every season and always excitedly told me about all of his games. He would invite me all the time, and drag my mom and dad with him to every game. My biggest regret was not finding the time to see him play more.
Q: What would you like the public to know about this tragedy?
A: My child is dead, for many years. For me, this life sentence is forever. I cry and grieve to this very day. When I finally woke up from the fog in which I was living, I found an old woman looking back at me and my babies were all grown up.
How was it possible that we are living in the greatest country in the world, and my child is shot and killed a block away from his grandmother's home? I though for a long time that what happened to Ruben was my fault. But, as I walked through our justice system I discovered that our elected officials had sold-out our loved ones for their own gain.
I have met many important people...people who run this state and this nation. It makes me very sad that they don't care or think of us. I will keep the fight in my veins as long as I live, and I will try to protect my children and grandchildren from the DACA invasion.
*This reporter is proud to call Angie Morfin a friend, and prouder still that she generously shared her son, Ruben, and her painful, and so very poignant story with me.
Thank you Angie, and know that thousands of Americans love you and Ruben.